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Gestational Diabetes: Causes, Complications and Tips For Prevention

Know about the causes, complications, and prevention for gestational diabetes.

Published
Her Health
3 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Diabetes in mothers may lead to complications for both her and the baby, claims study.</p></div>
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Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High blood sugar levels can cause a negative effect on the baby's health and the expecting mother.

Pregnancy complications are normal and gestational diabetes can be controlled by a few dietary changes, medication, exercises and other lifestyle changes. You need to maintain the blood sugar levels for the overall health of yourself and your baby.

Many a times, the blood sugar levels go back to normal after delivery but it puts you at a higher risk of type-2 diabetes. That is why regular blood tests are necessary to keep a check.

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Gestational Diabetes: Causes

There are a few risk factors that increase the chances of gestational diabetes.

  • Hormonal changes which is normal during pregnancy can be a cause for the spike in blood sugar levels

  • If you are obese or overweight before pregnancy, there are higher chances of you suffering from gestational diabetes

  • If you are prediabetic or suffered from gestational diabetes in the past.

  • If anyone in your close family has diabetes, it increases your risk of suffering from diabetes as well

  • If you suffer from PCOS

  • If you delivered a baby weighing more than 9 pounds in the past

Gestational Diabetes: Complications 

Gestational diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels and it can be harmful for the health of the mother as well as the baby. So, let us understand in detail the complications you might have to face.

  • According to Mayo Clinic, gestational diabetes causes the size of the baby to increase which may result in injuries, getting wedged in the birth canal or C-section delivery.

  • Gestational diabetes also increases the chances of the premature birth of the baby. It may also happen because of the increased size of the baby.

  • Babies born to mothers suffering from gestational diabetes may suffer from respiratory distress syndrome which makes it difficult for them to breathe properly.

  • Gestational diabetes in mothers may lead to low blood sugar levels of the baby immediately after birth. In such cases, immediate feeding or intravenous glucose solution can help bring the sugar levels back to normal.

  • Gestational diabetes may lead to stillbirth or death of the baby immediately after birth.

  • Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes have increased chances of suffering from obesity or type-2 diabetes in the future.

  • Gestational diabetes increases the chance of high blood pressure of the mother and in extreme situation may lead to the death of both the baby and the mother.

  • There is an increase in the possibility that you may have to go through a caesarian delivery

  • Gestational diabetes also increases the chances of obesity and type-2 diabetes in mothers

Gestational Diabetes: Prevention

There is no sure short way to prevent gestational diabetes but inculcating healthy habits reduces the risk of gestational diabetes. It also reduces the chances of obesity and type-2 diabetes in future. Here are some tips that can reduce the chances of getting it.

  • One of the essential parts that will help you maintain your blood sugar levels is change in your eating habits. You must switch to foods that are high in fibers and low in calories. Fruits, vegetables and whole foods can be a great choice to add both nutrition and taste to your diet.

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  • Exercise can help you maintain optimal blood sugar levels. One can make sure to maintain an active lifestyle during pregnancy. Swimming, walking, cycling and yoga can be a few options. But you should consult your doctor if you have a complicated pregnancy.

  • Overweight and obesity before pregnancy is also one of the causes of gestational diabetes. That is why it is important that you lose the extra kilos if you are planning to conceive in the near future. It will help you keep the condition at bay.

  • People think that gaining weight during pregnancy is quite normal. Make sure that you maintain a healthy weight and you can consult a doctor if you're not sure regarding the limit of your heathy weight during pregnancy.

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