Blood sugar is a relatively serious condition wherein your body is unable to regulate the required sugar levels in your blood as it does not possess the essential amounts of insulin. More or less a common disease that grasps pregnant women, diabetes or more specifically gestational diabetes represents almost 3.3% of all live births. Regardless of the type of diabetes that you may have, one must ensure that the necessary measures are taken in order to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.
So you must be wondering about the connection between diabetes and pregnancy?
The baby in the womb receives a constant supply of nutrients and water through the placenta which also manufactures a number of hormones in order to maintain the pregnancy. Dr. Devon says, “Hormones in early pregnancy can possibly affect the insulin secretion to increase resulting in a drop in the glucose manufactured by the liver. This may lead to hypoglycaemia, i.e., low blood glucose levels. Some of these hormones like estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen at the advanced pregnancy stage can actually create a blocking effect on insulin thus creating a condition known as insulin resistance.”
The growing placenta produces more of these hormones and thus increases the insulin resistance. To overcome this resistance, the pancreas has the capability to produce additional insulin. However, if there isn’t sufficient production that can overcome the effect of the placental hormones, the results of gestational diabetes may actually worsen.
Babies may encounter greater risks and complications like birth defects, stillbirth, Macrosomia, Birth injury, Hypoglycemia, Respiratory distress, if the mother is diagnosed with blood sugar. The doctor will design the treatment depending on the severity of your condition and also taking into consideration your age, overall health, and medical history. Additional parameters include measuring your tolerance levels to medication, procedures and therapies along with expectations for the course of the disease is also studied.
Eating a healthy diet is important to keep gestational diabetes in check during pregnancy. Include a lot of fruits and green vegetables in your diet and also a good portion of healthy protein and complex carbs. Also, aim to limit your fat intake to 30 percent of your total daily calories and the best way to do it. is by avoiding sugary, processed food.
Try maintaining a normal weight and BMI. This ideally means that you aim to gain the right amount during pregnancy and lose the extra pounds post-delivery. Staying active in consultation with your doctor also helps.
Fortunately, all the potential risks associated with gestational diabetes can be eliminated if one can carefully control their blood sugar levels. For this, you need to monitor your blood sugar level several times a day. Check the fasting sugar rate after waking up in the morning and then again an hour after each meal to ensure that your blood sugar levels are between a healthy range.
In the case of gestational diabetes, the blood sugar tends to return to normal post-delivery. However, keep in mind, that one is more likely to face gestational diabetes for subsequent pregnancies. In future, one may even develop diabetes. As Dr. Devon says, “Women with gestational diabetes have a 50% chance of developing diabetes within 10 to 20 years of delivery.”