Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy: Overview, Symptoms & Precaution

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z

During pregnancy, some women develop high blood sugar levels that are called Gestational diabetes during pregnancy or gestational diabetes mellitus(GDM). It happens only during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes usually develops between the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy. It happens if your body is not able to produce enough insulin during pregnancy.


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If you have gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, it doesn’t mean that you were diabetic before pregnancy or will be diabetic afterward. After the birth of your baby, gestational diabetes usually disappears. But if you have gestational diabetes, the risk of type 2 diabetes for you is higher.


Any pregnancy complication is always caused by worrying, but there’s good news too. Pregnant women can control gestational diabetes by eating healthy foods, exercising and, if necessary, taking medication. Controlling blood sugar can avoid a difficult birth and keep your baby healthy.




What are the Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes?


Usually, gestational diabetes signs or symptoms are rare. If you feel symptoms, they are very mild. They may include;



  • Blurred vision


  • Excessive thirst


  • Excessive need to urinate




When to See a Doctor?


When you get pregnant, your doctor will check your sugar level as part of your prenatal care. If you develop gestational diabetes, you may need more frequent health checkups. It is most likely to happen during the last three months of pregnancy when your doctor will monitor your blood sugar level and your baby’s health.


Your gynecologist may refer you to specialized diabetes professionals, such as an endocrinologist, a registered dietitian or a diabetes educator. They can help you to manage your gestational diabetes during pregnancy.


keep monitor that your blood sugar level has become normal after your baby is born, your doctor will check your blood sugar right after delivery and again after six weeks. Once you have gestational diabetes, it’s better to check your blood sugar level frequently.




What are the Risks of Gestational Diabetes?



Anyone can have gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but you’re at more risk if have any of these factors:


  • If you are overweighted like BMI is more than 30.


  • If your previous baby is weighed 4.5 kg or more at time of birth


  • If you had gestational diabetes in your other previous pregnancy
    one of your parents or siblings has diabetes


  • If any of these can apply to you, you should go for the screening of blood sugar level.


  • If you are older than 25.


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What are the Complications of Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy?


Usually, women who have gestational diabetes during their pregnancy deliver healthy babies. Well, if it not that carefully managed can lead to high blood sugar levels and cause health issues for you and your baby as well, it increased the needing a C-section to deliver.


Complications that can affect your baby:


Excessive Birth Weight: Extra sugar (glucose) in your bloodstream passes the placenta, which prompts your baby’s pancreas to produce extra insulin. Due to this, the baby can grow too large (macrosomia).


Preterm Birth: Your high blood sugar may increase the risk of early labor and delivering the baby before the due date. Else your doctor may recommend early delivery because the baby is large.


Preterm Babies May Experience Respiratory Distress Syndrome: It is a condition that makes your baby breathing difficulties. Babies with this syndrome need help to breathe until their lungs mature and become stronger.


Low Blood Sugar (hypoglycemia): Sometimes gestational diabetes causes low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. Prompt feedings and sometimes an injection of glucose solution can return the baby’s blood sugar level to normal.




What are the Treatments for Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy?


To treat your gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your doctor may recommend you-


  • Monitor your blood sugar four or more times a day.


  • Go for urine tests that check for ketones, which shows that your diabetes is not controlled


  • Eat a healthy diet


  • Make regular exercise as inhabit




What is the Prevention for Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy?


It is not sure that the prevention of gestational diabetes will work or not, but the more healthy habits you can adopt before pregnancy, the better.


Eat healthy foods. Try to eat foods which are high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.


Keep active. Regular exercising before and during pregnancy can help to protect yourself from developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. A target for 30 minutes of moderate activity on at least 5 days week. Take a brisk daily walk.


Lose Extra weight before pregnancy. Doctors do not recommend to lose weight during pregnancy. But if you’re planning for a baby, losing excess pounds beforehand may help you have a healthier pregnancy.


Try to permanent changes to your eating habits. Drive yourself to lose weight by remembering the long-term benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy, and improved self-esteem.




Well, Gestational diabetes can develop during the pregnancy and it has some complications as well. But with the help of above mention tips and with the help of your doctor you can manage it well. So no need to worry enjoy your pregnancy.


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