Many women develop diabetes during pregnancy though their sugar levels were normal before pregnancy.  This may be due to a history of diabetes in the family, obesity or any hormonal variation. Gestational diabetes needs to be diagnosed on time and proper care needs to be taken to maintain the health of the mother and baby. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed in the routine blood or urine test and is confirmed using Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT).
Gestational diabetes mellitus, GDM, is a type of diabetes that only occurs among women during pregnancy. If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is important to be aware that most women with the condition have healthy pregnancies and that diabetes symptoms are usually alleviated after giving birth.
Your doctor will give you a personalized treatment plan depending on your symptoms and your personal health history.
Monitor your blood sugar – Your doctor will show you how to test your blood sugar levels so that you can keep track of any changes throughout the day. Perform moderate exercise – Performing regular, moderate exercise on a daily basis will help you to control your blood sugar levels. Maintain a healthy weight – Staying within a healthy weight during pregnancy is also key to maintaining proper blood sugar levels. If you have questions about healthy nutrition for women with gestational diabetes, contact your local doctor who will arrange for you to see a dietitian and nutritionist.
Our Speech Pathologist, Dietitian and Skincare Nurse offer 15min free health screening consults. Pregnancy complications, although not normal, are bound to occur because of the immense pressure on your organs, body and mind.
Gestational diabetes is a variation of normal diabetes, but it develops or is diagnosed during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is called so because you develop it only when you are pregnant – somewhere in the pregnancy second trimester or pregnancy third trimester – and if you have been undergoing some treatment after it was diagnosed it will go away on its own after your baby is born. Before you worry yourself into a tizzy, rest assured that a majority of women who have gestational diabetes give birth to absolutely healthy babies and go on to have no health problems themselves.
When you have gestational diabetes, the extra glucose from your blood is shared by your baby.
Another pregnancy complication of gestational diabetes related macrosomia will actually show up at the time of delivery. If a baby with macrosomia is delivered vaginally, there is a possibility of the vagina getting injured. Your baby is likely to have hypoglycemia for the first few days after birth if you had gestational diabetes. A baby born of a mother who had gestational  diabetes is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes as an adult. If you have gestational diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing pre-eclampsia – a condition that causes high blood pressure during pregnancy, which can lead to conditions that are fatal to both mother and child. Although gestational diabetes disappears after you have given birth, there is a strong likelihood that you will go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. If you plan on having more children, you are more likely to develop gestational diabetes in future pregnancies. Gestational diabetes is a risk factor for premature birth, which leads to its own set of problems like respiratory disorders and neurological impairment. Although the reasons for the prevalence of gestational diabetes is unknown, the factors that put women at high risk for the condition have been identified as follows. If you are genetically pre-disposed to diabetes, there is a likelihood that you will develop gestational diabetes. You are at greater risk for gestational diabetes if you are above 35 years of age during pregnancy.
High birth weight babies also increase your risk for gestational diabetes in the pregnancies to follow.
Having high blood pressure means that your chances of developing gestational diabetes are higher. Women who are overweight or obese before pregnancy will most likely develop gestational diabetes. There is a condition called polyhydramnios which is characterized by having too much amniotic fluid.
If you suffered from an inexplicable miscarriage in a prior pregnancy, you may be at higher risk for gestational diabetes. You may feel more fatigued during pregnancy if you have gestational diabetes because the energy-giving glucose is trapped in the blood. You may urinate more often during pregnancy (not that you would be able to tell the difference) if you have gestational diabetes. Feeling thirsty constantly, even if you’ve just had a drink of water, is a sign of gestational diabetes. Women who have gestational diabetes are more prone to recurring infections of the vagina or bladder. The treatment for gestational diabetes must begin as soon as possible to prevent complications from setting in. If you are physically active, it will aid in releasing the glucose from your blood as your body will be forced to extract the energy directly from the blood when it is needed. If diet and exercise do not help, your doctor will recommend that you take insulin shots or will prescribe medication.
Since the reasons for gestational diabetes are not very clear to doctors or researchers, preventing the condition from occurring is a little difficult. One of the main things you can do to prevent gestational diabetes is lose weight before you get pregnant, never during pregnancy. This article gives answers to all the above questions plus many more frequently asked questions on gestational diabetics.
The food you consume passes through your digestive system and undergoes many processes and reactions and gets broken down into glucose, which is a type of sugar.
This glucose that enters your blood is converted into energy with the help of a hormone called Insulin.
When you are pregnant, due to various hormonal changes, the production of insulin by the pancreas is disturbed. Different practitioners use different blood sugar charts depending on the country and region and these charts also get revised timely. A glucose-screening test conducted between 24 and 28 week of your pregnancy gives the clue whether you have gestational diabetes.
Also if the urine or blood test done to confirm pregnancy shows signs of diabetes or if you have a history of gestational diabetes then you may be asked to take the test at the first prenatal visit itself and then repeat the test again when you are between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant.
You are not allowed to eat for the next one hour and will have to wait for the test to be done. If you vomit the solution or didn’t drink it fully or missed to take test exactly after one hour, then you will be asked to do the screening test again on some other day. You are above 35 years – Researches say that a woman getting pregnant after her 35th birthday has more chances of getting gestational diabetes.
Family history of diabetes – If any of your blood relations (parents or siblings) has diabetes, then your chances of getting it is higher.
Personal history of diabetes – If you had gestational diabetes during your previous pregnancy you can develop it again in your current pregnancy. Also if you have an elevated blood sugar level that can become type II diabetes, then also chances of getting gestational diabetes is high.
Over weight – If you are significantly over weight your chances are high, especially if you have a BMI more than 30. Ethnicity – If you are Hispanic, American Indian, Asian or black then your chances are high. High blood pressure – If you have high blood pressure your chance of getting diabetes during pregnancy is high.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, don’t worry much because majority of ladies deliver healthy babies and have normal gestation if the diabetes is controlled with dietary changes and medications as per your doctor’s advice. All the extra sugar can make your baby put on weight especially in the upper part of the body. In some cases, the head easily enters the birth canal but the shoulders will get stuck due to all the extra weight.
The use of maneuvers will require a larger episiotomy for the mother and may result in more vaginal damage.

If the doctors doubt that it will be difficult for you to have a normal delivery due to the big size of the baby they will do a cesarean delivery.
This condition is seen especially when the blood sugar level is considerably high during labor or during the last weeks of pregnancy.
Sometimes the lungs of the baby whose mother had gestational diabetes will be a little late to mature.
The kids born to moms with gestational diabetes are more likely to be overweight throughout their childhood and adulthood phase.
Babies born to moms who had gestational diabetes fall under the category of people who are more likely to develop type II diabetes in the future. Gestational diabetics can also make the number of red blood cells in the blood to increase beyond limit (polycythemia) and also the level of calcium in the blood to decrease (hypocalcemia). Babies born to moms with gestation diabetes also have a high risk of getting newborn jaundice. Researches also show that untreated gestational diabetes can lead to the death of the baby inside the womb or soon after delivery. Please note that the conditions mentioned above can happen only if the sugar level is poorly controlled.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes your doctor will recommend a new diet plan for you. Also you will have to do moderate exercises to maintain healthy weight and bring the sugar levels down.
If the sugar level is so high that it cannot be controlled by controlling food alone, then you will have to take oral medicines and in some cases insulin injection.
If you do a Google search you see plenty of sites telling you what to eat when you have pregnancy diabetes. The amount and type of food you have to take and the foods you have to avoid and include all depends on various factors like your current weight, your target blood sugar level, the medications you are using, your physical activity etc.
If you have gestational diabetes I would suggest you buy a good blood glucose monitor and check your blood sugar regularly. If you are taking insulin injection chances are that your blood sugar levels can fall down.
If you feel the symptoms of low blood sugar check the sugar levels immediately and do the needful. Know the symptoms of preeclampsia like elevated blood pressure and water retention and if you notice any inform your doctor. Go to your doctor if you feel any abnormal symptoms or feel that the baby is not doing well.
But researches say that if you always maintain healthy weight, exercise regularly and eat healthy you can to some extend lessen the chances of developing gestational diabetes. To check if you have diabetes after your delivery a test is conducted 6 to 12 weeks after delivery. The good news is that for majority of the women blood sugar will come to normal levels after delivery. If you had gestational diabetes for one pregnancy, chances are high for you to develop it in your next pregnancy too.
Also having gestational diabetes can increase your chances of developing type II diabetes in the future especially if you are obese, has impaired glucose tolerance, your blood sugar level during pregnancy was very high.
Maintaining a healthy BMI, exercising regularly and eating right is the primary key to lower the chances of developing type II diabetes in future. As mentioned earlier, the common gestational diabetes effects on children are overweight and developing type II diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a condition that can make your pregnancy a risky one if not controlled. If it is diagnosed at the right time and the treatments are done properly to bring the sugar levels to normal, then it is not a reason to worry about. Anu is mother to 3-year-old Reyhan and strongly believes that a good parent is a good role model for the children. Amongst the many complications that a pregnant woman may face, one is gestational diabetes. The nutritionist who works on a gestational diabetes diet plan has to factor in the needs of the growing fetus within the patient besides taking the physical health and mental state of the pregnant woman into consideration. A gestational diabetes diet plan needs to factor in the stress and increased hormonal activity which one usually associates with a pregnant woman. The nutritionist will have to ensure that the mother-to- be gets the right number of calories from the right type of nutritional intake.
Since each individual is different, it would be necessary for the gestational diabetes diet plan to be modified to suit the individual pregnant woman.
One size does not fit all in this case, so if you have been diagnosed recently with gestational diabetes please do not follow the diet plan that was written up for your friend or neighbor. Screening for gestational diabetes is fairly common practice and does catch many cases before any damage can be done. Managing gestational diabetes is possible with regular monitoring of the blood sugar levels.
Exercise is restricted in pregnancy and so the management of diabetes is more focused on the diet aspect. Factors such as the pregnant woman’s height, weight, level of blood glucose, and tolerance of certain types of food would have to be painstaking thought of before designing the gestational diabetes diet plan. Besides the gestational diabetes diet plan the pregnant woman may need to be prescribed oral medication to control blood glucose levels. During pregnancy the increased hormonal levels affects the insulin production resulting in diabetes. In case of normal delivery, because of the higher birth weight the baby can get caught in the birth canal. If you develop diabetes during pregnancy and have never had diabetes before, then you will probably be diagnosed with GDM.
Even so, it is important to take a proactive approach to treating GDM so that you can keep you blood sugar at a healthy level. This will allow you to take the necessary steps to make adjustments to your blood sugar levels as needed. Gestational diabetes is one such complication that occurs somewhere in the middle of your pregnancy, and goes away after your baby is born.
Diabetes is when you have too much glucose in the blood either because your pancreas is not producing enough insulin to release the glucose from the blood or something is stopping the insulin from being able to do so. The placenta produces a very high level of hormones throughout your pregnancy to help your body adapt to the changes, and to help your baby grow.
But there is always a small window for something going wrong when you have pregnancy complications.
In order to tackle the extra glucose in its blood, the baby’s body starts to produce insulin. Because of of its large size, the baby’s shoulder may get stuck behind your pubic bone while passing through the birth canal.
C-section surgeries have been known to cause pregnancy complications if subsequent pregnancies. This is because the baby’s body is still producing extra insulin in response to the high blood glucose levels in the womb. If yes, your risk for gestational diabetes increases in your current and subsequent pregnancies.
Some women will not even realize they have gestational diabetes till a regular prenatal checkup tells them otherwise.
Gestational diabetes may be treated by medication in combination with a change in food and exercise.
If you make exercise a part of your life when you are pregnant, you can effectively defeat and even prevent gestational diabetes. This normally requires a quick, painless prick on a finger by a small machine that will immediately give you the results. But there is a connection between living a healthy lifestyle and a lower incidence of health problems.
Women who are overweight seem to be at a higher risk of gestational diabetes so you will be reducing your chances if you shed those extra kilos. This way, gestational diabetes can be caught at its earliest and you can probably eliminate it before it has time to do its worst.
If you didn’t have diabetes before conceiving and developed it during your pregnancy due to various hormonal changes during your gestation, it is called gestational diabetics or gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).

For some pregnant ladies insulin produced is not sufficient enough to turn the glucose into energy. But sometimes you may feel thirstier, your trips to pee may increase, your mouth may be dry and you may get infections like thrush more often.
If you turn positive in a glucose-screening test, the doctor will ask you to take a glucose tolerance test (GTT). You will be asked to come prepared for the test, as you will have to stay in the hospital for more than an hour.
Don’t worry the solution tastes good as it comes in orange or lime flavor, I guess in cola flavor too. After exactly one hour your blood sample will be taken and will be sent to labs to check the blood sugar level. But if you fall under one or more of the below categories your chances of developing a gestational diabetics is high. If you are taking medicines, doing exercise and controlling your food as per your doctor, you will mostly have a healthy baby with no complications. So please have a detailed discussion with your doctor or dietitian to find out what is best for you. You will have a healthy baby and pregnancy if you follow your doctor’s instructions without any excuses. When she is not blogging, she can be found glued to Bollywood gossip shows or asking her hubby if she is fat for the 'n'th time. Diet plan for a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes would vary from that of a normal person with diabetes. The control of blood sugarlevels is vital to ensure that the fetus develops in a healthy and timely manner. Food and exercise are the keys to diabetes management and gestational diabetes is no exception. However it is in the best interests of the pregnant woman to do some form of light exercise every day to ensure good health.
There would also have to be considerable flexibility in the plan as some times the pregnant woman is unable to keep down all that she has consumed due to bouts of nausea. The pre meal dose of fast acting insulin is often prescribed to avoid the peak of glucose in the bloodstream immediately after eating a meal. All material provided on this website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Usually, the blood sugar levels become normal after delivery, but gestational diabetes is an indication for the possibility of type 2 diabetes in the future. This combined with proper diet and exercise will help to bring down the sugar levels till delivery. Increase the intake of fiber in the food by using whole grain cereals, oat bran, fruits and vegetables.
Do not include a large quantity of tubers like potato, yam, sweet potato in your diet, but beetroot can be added as they are rich in iron. Similar to chronic diabetes, women with this condition do not produce enough insulin or the cells in their body cannot process insulin properly. Passionate about health and wellbeing, we write about issues relevant to our clinical practice. Let’s take a look at what gestational diabetes is and how it affects you and your baby. Gestational diabetes means that you develop diabetes during your pregnancy due to the stresses of gestation (pregnancy). This is not considered a very serious pregnancy complication as it can easily be brought under control. You must remember that pregnancy is actually a very exhausting time for your body and it is working constantly, even when you are sleeping.
However, the pregnancy hormones may be inhibiting your body’s ability to produce insulin and also preventing the insulin from effectively doing its job.
The insulin releases the glucose from the baby’s blood and goes to all the other cells to be used as energy. This situation is known as shoulder dystocia and is quite dangerous as your baby may not be able to breathe at this point.
Only 20% of women who have gestational diabetes will need medication though, the remaining 80% will be able to manage their gestational diabetes with simple variations in their food habits and level of physical activity. Gestational diabetes is one such complication which can be effectively tackled by a change in diet. There are several safe pregnancy exercises that you can undertake throughout the nine months without harming yourself or your baby. You may need to check your blood glucose after or before every meal, when you wake up in the morning, or before you go to bed at night, depending on the severity of your gestational diabetes and the treatment method you are undergoing.
This can lead to macrosomia and can make it difficult for your baby to enter the birth canal and have a normal delivery.
In such cases the doctor will be using special maneuvers to pull the baby out of the birth canal. Once the baby is born, this extra insulin will use up all the sugar in the baby’s blood making the sugar levels low.
Preeclampsia due to gestational diabetes is more likely to occur in ladies who are overweight and who hasn’t controlled the diabetes during pregnancy. Also always check that he is having healthy BMI and is doing exercise or has sufficient physical activities to maintain good health and weight. She tries to see the positive side of everything and loves reading, writing and watching movies. While it is enough for a normal patient of diabetes to control the blood sugar levels through a monitored diet and enough exercise, in the case of a pregnant woman there are other factors to think about. The skills of the nutritionist putting the mind of the pregnant woman at ease will be just as important as the actual diet plan that the nutritionist designs.
If medication is prescribed the diet must be carefully adhered to and the blood sugar levels constantly monitored. A 20 to 30 minute session everyday is found to be beneficial in bringing the sugar levels down. So complications do arise when your body is unable to keep up with the millions of processes going on during pregnancy.
Insulin is responsible for regulating the sugar in your blood and releasing it into your cells to give them energy.
This is not unusual; there are so many other pregnancy symptoms and pregnancy complications to deal with that it can be tough identifying which symptom is associated with which complication. You must see a nutritionist who will advise you of what kinds of food you need to eat and in what proportion, based on your individual needs. Your doctor will tell you what your individual reading needs to be and how often you have to take the test.
No crash diets or crazy exercise plans as this can raise your risk for other health problems. But often such physical changes like more wee and thirst are common when you are pregnant and so it is difficult to find out if you have diabetes just by looking at the symptoms. Have the whole fruit instead of the juice so that the blood sugar levels do not increase rapidly. A healthy diet, cheerful mind and an active body is the right equation for a fruitful pregnancy.
And during pregnancy, you require more insulin than ever because there is almost 50% more blood in your body than when you were not pregnant.
See a nutritionist about formulating a balanced meal plan and talk to your doctor about starting an exercise program that is suitable for your level of fitness and which will help you achieve your weight goals. So when the pregnancy hormones prevent normal insulin production and do not let the existing insulin take action, you develop gestational diabetes.
When there is not enough insulin, there is a glucose (sugar) build up in the blood and you develop gestational diabetes.

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