What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes refers to the condition where non-diabetic women during pregnancy develop high blood sugar. Gestational diabetes affects about two to four percent of pregnant women and their unborn baby. But, in 90 percent of the cases, gestational diabetes resolves after the baby's birth.
Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes
How can you tell if you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy? In general, this condition produces no symptoms. But some pregnant women with gestational diabetes may experience a few symptoms, including:
- Extreme fatigue
- Excessive thirst
- Frequent urination
If you experience these symptoms you should visit your doctor, who can run a blood test to confirm the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. The blood tests are given between 24 to 28 weeks into pregnancy.
Some of the risks a woman with gestational diabetes faces if she doesn't treat her condition includes:
- Excessive fatigue
- Higher risk of getting an infection
- Higher risk of getting a C-section
- Higher risk of having a premature birth
Some of the risks her baby may face includes:
- High birth weight
- Low blood sugar levels at birth
- Severe jaundice
- Infant respiratory distress syndrome
Risks After Pregnancy
The blood sugar levels for women who have gestational diabetes usually returns to normal. But, women who have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes during their lifetime and their baby also experiences a higher risk of developing this illness.
What treatment options are available for women with gestational diabetes? A healthy diet and lifestyle often will be able enough to control blood sugar levels. This doesn't mean you have to make drastic changes to your lifestyle. But do take time to rest, sleep, and exercise regularly. If you are really worried, then you might want to look into getting a glucose monitor to ensure that your blood sugar remains low. Also, consult your doctor regularly about your condition, and if the gestational diabetes worsens, your doctor may recommend that you insulin injections.
Chat with other women about common pregnancy problems, like pregnancy obesity which can lead to gestational diabetes, in our pregnancy forum.