Unlike other types of Diabetes, Gestational Diabetes does not last a lifetime. Instead, it only affects certain pregnant mothers and then will go away after the baby is born.
Most commonly present from mid-pregnancy onward, gestational diabetes results from lack of insulin production from the mother’s body for both her and the fetus. It is estimated that almost one in six expectant mothers will contract gestational diabetes in some form. Risk factors include previous pregnancies, overweight mothers and some studies indicate that gestational diabetes has at least some genetic tendencies.
Common symptoms of gestational diabetes include fatigue, increased thirst, dry mouth, desire to urinate more frequently, and recurring infections. Expectant mothers who experience any of these symptoms should contact medical assistance immediately. If left untreated, further complications can result including abnormal weight gains in the baby and/or the mother developing excess water in the uterus.
Gestational Diabetes, like other forms of diabetes, can be treated and managed throughout a woman’s pregnancy. Daily exercise and diet are all integral parts of maintaining gestational diabetes throughout the pregnancy term as those diagnosed will need to manage their diet and weight. In more serious cases, some women may need to take insulin shots or other medication to help with glucose levels in the blood.
Mothers that are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes may have a higher risk of birth complications. Doctors often recommend expectant mothers that are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes have more frequent ultrasounds pre-birth; in addition, once the baby is born, doctors may have a medical specialist monitor the newborn for signs of distress or any other complication that could result from Gestational Diabetes. Post-birth, the mother may be provided with an additional examination to ensure that Diabetes is no longer present. Some mothers diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes may also have Type 2 Diabetes without their knowledge.
Post Birth Care
Certain studies have indicated that babies born to mothers with Gestational Diabetes may be more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes also so postnatal care is paramount in the time immediately after birth. Some tips such as breastfeeding, and a healthy diet can help with the newborn in the months and years after birth.
While Gestational Diabetes can be managed throughout the pregnancy term and will not necessarily stay with the mother after birth, taking the necessary precautions and following your doctors recommendations is the best way to prevent further complication and make sure that symptoms do not follow your child after birth.
If you’d like to know more about Gestational Diabetes and how it can be treated and maintained throughout and after pregnancy, please contact the Woodlands OBGYN Associates today!