Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can occur when a woman is pregnant. Even though it’s quite common, it’s important to manage it properly to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the baby.
What is it?
- Definition: Gestational diabetes happens when your body cannot produce enough insulin to handle the effects of a growing baby and changing hormone levels. Insulin helps your body to use sugar (glucose) for energy. When you have gestational diabetes, too much sugar stays in your blood instead of being used for energy.
Why is it Important to Pay Attention to?
- Mother’s Health: If not managed well, it can increase the mother’s risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy.
- Baby’s Health: The baby might grow larger than usual, which can lead to complications during delivery.
- Future Risks: Both the mother and the baby will have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
Managing Gestational Diabetes
- Healthy Eating: Focus on a balanced diet with a good mix of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, always prioritizing nutritious choices.
- Exercise: Regular physical activity can help manage blood sugar levels. Always consult with a healthcare professional about the type and amount of exercise that’s safe for you during pregnancy.
- Monitoring: Keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels, as directed by your healthcare team.
- Medication: Some women may need medication or insulin to help manage their blood sugar levels during pregnancy.
After the Baby is Born
- Blood Sugar Levels: For most women, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born. However, it’s always a good idea to have your blood sugar levels checked regularly.
- Healthy Lifestyle: Continue with healthy habits to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Future Pregnancies: If you’ve had gestational diabetes, you’re more likely to have it again in future pregnancies. Share your history with your healthcare team.
Gestational diabetes is temporary and manageable, especially when you have the right information and support. Always work closely with your healthcare team to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.