Some Infertility Facts in India - Dr Rita Bakshi

Impact of gestational diabetes on you and your baby

I would like to share a few tips on how to cope up with diabetes during pregnancy. First of all, it is important to understand the meaning of diabetes, its causes and symptoms observed in a pregnant mother.


How can gestational diabetes be defined?


Gestational diabetes is a common phenomenon among pregnant mothers, which occurs during pregnancy and terminates once the baby is born. It is a condition where the mother is diagnosed with high blood sugar levels.


A pregnant mother may be on a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if she has the following signs:


  • Obesity issues.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Have given birth to an overweight baby.
  • Given birth to a still birth or with birth defects.
  • History of gestational diabetes in previous pregnancy.
  • Genetic history of diabetes.
  • More than 30 years of age.


How Diabetes affects my chances of having a healthy pregnancy?


Diabetes significant increases chances of having complications in pregnancy. Here are a few risks that include:

  • Increased chances of having a C-section
  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Type-2 Diabetes post birth
  • Obesity


How will Diabetes impact my baby’s growth?


Fetal death (stillbirth): Stillbirth is a condition where the baby dies in the uterus after 28th week or more of pregnancy. Doppler flow studies are done to rule out still birth.

Birth defects: Babies of diabetic mothers may have major defects in heart, nervous system, urinary and intestinal organs.

Macrosomia: This is a condition where the baby born is larger than usual. If the mother is diabetic, her blood will have high sugar content, which makes the pancreas in the baby produce more insulin to utilize this glucose. This causes fat formation making the baby grow bigger than normal.

Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is a condition where the glucose level drops to lower than normal and the baby of a diabetic mother will have low sugar levels post birth. This leads to high insulin level and low glucose level in the baby’s blood.

Respiratory problems: Extremely high insulin or glucose in baby prevents proper growth of lungs. This causes breathing problems in babies especially before 37thweek of pregnancy.


Which are the possible tests to rule out diabetes?


  • GCT (Glucose Challenge Test)
  • GTT (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test)
  • Blood sugar testing
  • hbA1C (Hemoglobin A1C)Test


What are the common steps to get relief from gestational diabetes?


  • Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.
  • Eat balanced meals with low amount of carbohydrates and high protein content.
  • Do regular exercise for at least 5 days a week.
  • Frequent examination of fetal growth and well-being.
  • Regular follow-ups with your obstetrician discuss your sugar levels, diet, exercise regime and the amount of weight you have gained.
  • Take diabetic medications and insulin injections as prescribed.


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