Gestational diabetes (GDM) is when diabetes affects the pregnant women. It is usually seen in the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy and mostly disappears after delivery. These women are prone to develop diabetes in later life.
What causes gestational diabetes?
Diabetes Mellitus develops when the body cannot produce or utilize insulin (insulin is a hormone which lowers blood sugar) . During pregnancy, the body has to produce extra insulin to meet the growing energy needs of the child. If the body cannot meet these requirements, gestational diabetes develops. This is further compounded by the hormonal changes of pregnancy, which interfere with insulin function and raise blood sugar.
What are the risks of gestational diabetes to the mother?
▪ Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) ▪ Ketoacidosis ▪ Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure)
Urinary tract infections ▪ Cesarean section
What are the risks of gestational diabetes to the infant?
▪Neonatal hypoglycemia ▪Macrosomia (large babies) ▪ Neural tube defects ▪ Hypocalcemia ▪Hypomagnesemia ▪ Hyperbilirubinemia(Jaundice) ▪ Birth trauma ▪ Premature syndromes
Management of gestational diabetes
The goals of treating GDM is successful outcome of pregnancy both in mother and child. This is achieved by reasonable weight gain and control of blood sugars (FBS >90 mg% , PLBS> 120mg% ) and adequate weight gain during pregnancy. Therefore, you need to manage GDM by proper meal plan, exercises (if permitted), monitoring of blood sugars and
The meal plan should provide an optimal caloric intake with a view of optimizing weight gain in pregnancy, achieving meticulous control and ensuring a successful outcome of pregnancy.
Do’s and Don’ts
▪ Eat small frequent meals.
▪ Incorporate fruits, raw vegetables & complex carbohydrates (whole graincereals ) in your meal plan.
▪ Restrict fat intake (oil/ghee/butter)
▪ Prefer roasted/grilled & baked foods in place of fried food.
▪ Restrict eating in restaurants as food is rich in fat.
▪ Avoid sugar, jaggery, honey,
Exercise improves the efficiency of your own insulin to manage both, weight and blood sugar. So that, try and exercise 4-5 days a week as it help in controlling your blood sugar.
DO NOT EXERCISE if your obstetrician does not approve of it or has asked you take complete rest.
1.Walking: Walk after each meal, it will improve your post meal blood sugars.
2.Other exercises which you may undertake during pregnancy are
low impact aerobics & swimming
3.Always check your blood sugars
for hypoglycemia (low sugar) due
Insulin is employed if diet and exercise fail to control your blood sugar or when your blood sugars are high
❖You should not take tablets for reducing blood sugar in pregnancy as they may affect the unborn fetus.
❖You will also require 2-4 doses of insulin every day.
❖The amount of insulin to maintain good control increases as the pregnancy progresses.
It is mandatory to check your blood sugars during pregnancy.