Diabetes is a medical condition in which your blood sugar runs very high.
Diabetes in pregnant woman is called gestational diabetes.
In the United States, out of 100 pregnant women at least three to seven will be affected by gestational diabetes.
When a woman is exposed first time to the diabetes during pregnancy, it is gestational diabetes. Mostly gestational diabetes occurs in the second half of pregnancy and it goes away after your delivery. But there is a risk of having diabetes in the future.
You are likely to have a healthy baby if you Have diabetes before pregnancy, but if you have diabetes during pregnancy, you are at risk for having a birth defect baby, such as heart defects, etc. You are also at increased risk of having miscarriages, still birth, etc.
No one knows exactly the cause for gestational diabetes. However, it is believed that pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) that is produced during pregnancy may obstruct the action of insulin. Thus, you cannot produce enough insulin.
On the other hand, gestational diabetes can affect the baby during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes in high levels can result in large baby, which can harm you and your baby during delivery and your delivery becomes hard and difficult.
With gestational diabetes, there are high chances of developing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in your baby. Your newborn baby may also develop jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes) after birth.
There will be no symptoms of gestational diabetes, but some women show symptoms of hyperglycemia such as excess thirst, which is also very common in normal pregnant women.
Before getting pregnant you need to take necessary precautions in order to avoid diabetes during pregnancy. Consult your health care provider to monitor and control your blood glucose levels if you have diabetes and know how to take care of your baby and yourself [Diabetes diet to control blood glucose levels].
Generally, a urine sample will be taken to detect the blood sugar levels in the body.
However, a glucose tolerance test is the only method to confirm gestational diabetes. For this test, you need to stay without food for eight hours after the test.
You will be given a glucose solution to consume and blood sample will be taken to analyze the way your body deals with the glucose eventually.
If glucose tolerance test confirms your diabetes during pregnancy, it is essential for you to check your sugar levels throughout pregnancy.
The doctor also performs this test if you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes. The doctor will prescribe some oral medications to control your gestational diabetes, so that no complications should occur during labor as well as delivery and you can give birth to a healthy baby.
As gestational diabetes can lead to birth defects, your health care professional may recommend to increase the level of folic acid beyond the normal range to control the adverse effects to the baby.
Maintaining your blood sugar levels under control before and during pregnancy can help provide a healthy and risk-free pregnancy.