If you are wondering what is gestational diabetes you should know that it is a kind of diabetes that affects only pregnant women. If a woman never had diabetes and she gets it during her pregnancy, she will have this kind of diabetes that disappears after she gives birth.
Information about the gestational diabetes condition
Inside the body, carbohydrates get turned into glucose that is the source of energy for the organism. In order for glucose to get into the blood and cells, there is need for insulin that the body creates and releases during digestion. If you have diabetes, the body can’t produce enough insulin or it isn’t used the way it is supposed to be.
How do you know you have the condition of gestational diabetes?
In the majority of the cases the doctors test pregnant women for diabetes between weeks 24 and 28. If you belong to the high risk group you could be tested earlier, most probably as soon as you find out that you are expecting. There are two approaches when it comes to diabetes testing.
When asking what gestational diabetes is and how the testing occurs, you should know that in the first case women have to fast for a few hours. After that, they have to drink a glucose solution and they will be tested a couple of times to measure the blood sugar level. This is known as the glucose tolerance test.
The other approach regarding the gestational diabetes issue consists of measuring the blood sugar levels an hour after drinking the glucose solution. If after one hour you get normal results most probably you don’t have diabetes. If you don’t have normal results, you will have to have the other test as well.
Does it affect the baby?
When considering what is gestational diabetes you may be wondering about the effects of the condition on the baby. The good news is that the majority of the women with the condition have entirely healthy babies if they control their blood sugar level, they exercise and if they have a healthy diet.
However the issue of gestational diabetes could also lead to complications. The risks include having a large baby, known as macrosmia. In this case the baby has to be delivered through a surgical procedure instead of natural birth. Another risk is for the baby to have a low blood sugar level.
This means that you also have to think about hypoglycemia. In order to make the situation better you should start breastfeeding immediately so that the baby will get some glucose. It is possible that the baby will need more glucose that is received through a tube placed in his or her arm.
In case of the gestational diabetes problem it is possible for the skin of the baby to turn yellow. This is also known as jaundice. The good news is that the condition isn’t serious and it can be treated.
Now you know the answer to the question what is gestational diabetes. As you can see the condition isn’t very serious if it is properly monitored.