Pregnancy and Diabetes


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Ellie Dukes

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For most pregnant women, simply hearing the word “diabetes” can send them into a panic. So many pregnant women fear the blood glucose screening test and the thought of gestational diabetes developing at some point throughout their pregnancy. Though it is a concern for pregnant woman, it can be good to know that with the right help and tools, you can manage this condition throughout your entire pregnancy.

The reality is that gestational diabetes can develop and it’s more common than you might think. There are certain factors that put you at greater risk, but in some instances even the healthiest and happiest pregnant woman may develop the condition. So what do you need to know? If you have or develop diabetes, are there ways to help keep you and baby healthy? Fortunately we’ve come a long way and the answer is that there is hope for those who suffer from this health condition during pregnancy.

Weight Plays a Role

One of the biggest factors that play into the potential for developing diabetes during pregnancy is your weight. If you were obese before pregnancy then that puts you at risk in general for diabetes. If you gain too much weight overall or too much weight too quickly during your pregnancy this may also contribute to your likelihood of developing the disease.

You want to do your best to eat a healthy diet during pregnancy. Eating too much sugar or even too many carbohydrates can cause the blood sugar levels to rise and that’s never a good thing. Though many women use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever they want, you need to be diligent about proper nutrition. If you have a family or personal history of diabetes you want to be especially careful as well!

Monitoring is Key

There’s a reason why they check your urine every time you go to the doctor. Amongst other things they want to ensure that you have no sugar in the urine. This is a surefire sign that diabetes has developed and something that must be controlled immediately. It has also become standard practice that you get a blood glucose screening around the middle of your pregnancy. This is a great way of ensuring that gestational diabetes has not developed and that you are not at greater risk.

If you find out that you have gestational diabetes or if you had diabetes going into pregnancy then you need to be diligent about monitoring your blood sugar levels. If you are required to use insulin then there is nothing more important than doing this and keeping up with it. If you are concerned or if your doctor feels that you are showing warning signs then they may ask you to come in more often or to be tested more frequently.

Not Good for Baby or for Mommy

If undetected or left untreated diabetes, whether before or during pregnancy, can be quite harmful to baby and mommy. For the baby, diabetes in the mother can lead to pre-term labor, to the baby gaining too much weight, or to the baby getting too much blood sugar into the blood stream. This may ultimately lead to the baby or child being at greater risk for diabetes in their lifetime.

For the mom there is the potential for vision problems, kidney problems, and even the continuation of diabetes after the baby is born. Suffice it to say that diabetes is never a good thing, but it can be exponentially worse during pregnancy. It’s best to try to maintain a healthy lifestyle including proper diet and exercise, take good care of yourself and your baby, and continue with monitoring to ensure that diabetes is not a problem that plagues you or your little one.

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