Courtesy of Cy-Fair Hospital
There are many unknowns when having a baby. How much will the baby weigh? Will it be a boy or a girl? Will the baby look more like the mother or father? If the expectant mother has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, she may have even more questions. How will the condition affect my baby? Will the diabetes go away after the delivery? Will I develop gestational diabetes in future pregnancies, too?
Fortunately, there are answers to these questions. Time will tell how much the baby will weigh and if you should paint the nursery pink or blue. And who the baby looks like the most will likely depend on which grandparent you ask. But you can get answers about gestational diabetes now.
Gestational diabetes develops in about 3 percent of all pregnant women. Risk factors for the condition include being overweight or older than age 25, having a personal or family history of diabetes, and being African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or American Indian.
The condition occurs only during pregnancy, usually appearing in the second trimester and then disappearing after delivery. Women who develop gestational diabetes in one pregnancy or who had a baby weighing more than 9 pounds are more likely to have the condition with the next pregnancy.
Screening for gestational diabetes is included in routine prenatal care. Once diagnosed, the condition can be managed to avoid complications during delivery and keep the baby healthy. Your hospital’s diabetes management team can help you develop a treatment plan, which may include checking blood glucose levels regularly, eating a healthy diet, following a regular exercise schedule, and taking medications as prescribed.
Gestational diabetes typically does not cause birth defects or diabetes in the newborn. However, left untreated or uncontrolled it can cause problems such as a high birth weight, respiratory distress, jaundice, and low blood sugar.
Women who have gestational diabetes and their babies run a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
That’s why it is important to maintain a reasonable weight, eat healthy, continue to exercise, and have a diabetes test at least every three years.
Learn More at a Local Class - The Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center Hospital offers numerous programs, support group sessions, and educational classes, including one for gestational diabetes management. For more information, call 281-517-9700 or visit the Joslin Diabetes Center website at www.JoslinDiabetesCyFair.com.