By RPH Nida Naim

Getting pregnant is good news for you and your family. A baby growing in your womb is the most precious feeling for a mother!! Getting pregnant makes you happy. Your family starts taking care of you and people around you encourage you to eat healthy food. Your mind then wonders: how do you take care of your body to deliver a healthy child? You have to do all your routine checks which your doctor recommends during the whole gestational period. You get to know that you have gestational diabetes after the test. So do you know what the OGTT is? The glucose tolerance test, also known as the oral glucose tolerance test, measures your body’s response to sugar (glucose). Let‘s have a quick discussion about gestational diabetes and how to manage it during pregnancy.

Diabetes During Pregnancy

In medical terminology, diabetes that happens or is first seen in pregnant women is called gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes usually shows up during the middle trimester of pregnancy. Most of the time, a normal result for the glucose screening test is a blood sugar that is equal to or less than 140 mg/dl (7.8 mol/l) 1 hour after drinking the glucose solution. A normal result means you do not have gestational diabetes).

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

Here we have mentioned some of the symptoms of gestational diabetes: increased thirst, needing to pee more often than usual, a dry mouth, tiredness, blurred eyesight., genital itching, or thrush.

Risks Associated With Gestational Diabetes

Complications of Gestational Diabetes:

  • Excessive Birth Weight: Higher blood sugar ranges can cause the baby to grow too large. Babies are more likely to become wedged in the birth canal, have birth injuries, or need a C-Section.
  • Early (preterm) birth: High blood sugar may increase the risk of early labor and delivery before the due date. Or early delivery may be recommended because the baby is large.
  • Serious Breathing Difficulties: Babies born early may experience respiratory distress syndrome-a condition that makes breathing difficult.
  • Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia): Sometimes babies have low blood sugar(hypoglycemia) shortly after birth. Severe episodes of hypoglycemia may cause seizures in the baby. Prompt feeding and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby’s blood sugar level to normal.
  • Obesity and type 2 Diabetes later in Life: Babies have higher chances of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Stillbirth: If gestational diabetes is left untreated it can result in the baby’s death before or shortly later in life.

How To Manage Gestational Diabetes

So, your test confirms that you have gestational diabetes, now the question arises that how you can manage your blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

  • Eat Healthy Foods: A health care professional or a dietician can recommend to the pregnant lady what to eat during pregnancy.
  • Exercise Regularly: For most pregnant women. At least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended. The patient can do it on most days. Another piece of advice given to the patient is that they must do walking. Walking provides moderate aerobic conditioning with minimal stress on the joints.
  • Monitor Blood Sugar Often: Blood sugar testing is usually recommended before meals and at bedtime if the patient is taking multiple injections daily.
  • Take Insulin If Needed: The first choice drug for the management of diabetes in pregnant ladies is insulin. Insulin is safe for the baby. It can be injected with a syringe, an insulin pen, or through an insulin pump.  

Gestational diabetes in pregnancy can be easily managed. The patient can be educated that which lifestyle modification helps them during the pregnancy. In this, way the baby and the mother both can be healthy. 

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