Gestational diabetes is that your blood sugar level becomes high during pregnancy. It does not mean that you have diabetes before pregnancy. It is more common to develop in the second or third trimester. Gestational diabetes can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health. Below are the most common questions about gestational diabetes.
Q1: I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. OMG, but why?
A1: When you get pregnant, your body produces larger amounts of hormones which may make your body resistant to insulin, the hormone that regulates your blood sugar normally. As a result of insulin resistance, your blood sugar level increases and you get gestational diabetes.
Q2: How do I know I have gestational diabetes?
A2: You will be given a test between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. You will be asked to drink a liquid that contains glucose to raise your blood sugar. An hour later, take a blood test to see your blood glucose level. If the results show that your blood sugar is too high, then you need an oral glucose tolerance test. This time, you should not eat nor drink for 8 to 14 hours before your test to check your blood sugar by having a 3-hour glucose test.
Q3: Any increased risk if I have gestational diabetes?
A: If you have gestational diabetes, you are at risk of many problems, including a larger baby (which may lead to a difficult delivery), polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid in the womb), stillbirth, premature birth, Preeclampsia (high blood pressure), Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and so on.
Also, you are a higher chance to get gestational diabetes if you are overweight before pregnancy, delivered an overweight baby before, have high blood pressure, have a family history of diabetes, and so on.
Q4: What can I do if I have gestational diabetes?
A: Gestational diabetes can be controlled by having healthy meals and taking regular exercise. Some expectant moms should take insulin if needed. You can separate your meals into small amounts to balance the food intake and maintain the blood sugar level. Limit the intake of sugary foods and drinks. You need to pay attention to foods that may raise your blood glucose levels. Also, you can monitor your blood sugar level by using a special glucose-monitoring device. You can ask your doctor. If needed, you may be prescribed to inject insulin to keep blood sugar under control.
Q5: Is it possible that gestational diabetes disappears after giving birth?
A: Yes. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after delivery. But if you have had gestational diabetes, you have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes- lifelong diabetes that may affect your everyday life. You'll need to be tested for changes in blood sugar more often.
Keeping active and controlling your weight gain are good ways to keep your blood sugar level under control and reduce the chances to get gestational diabetes. Try to talk to your doctor about the best way to lose weight if you plan to have more pregnancies in the future.