With gestational diabetes you get a high blood sugar level during pregnancy. Fortunately, this is temporary and this form of diabetes is over again after the birth. The medical term for this specific diabetes is diabetes gravidarum. About 2 to 5 percent of pregnant women will experience this. From the 24th week you can deal with this. Therefore, a glucose test is regularly performed from the second trimester.
Consequences of gestational diabetes
During your pregnancy, your child may suffer from your high blood sugar level; he himself develops a high blood sugar level. High glucose levels are especially harmful in the first weeks of the embryo when important organs are formed. Other consequences can be:
Your child can grow more than normal and therefore have an increased birth weight (macrosomy). The chance of a Caesarean section increases.
He can be born earlier.
His blood sugar level can drop dangerously after birth. It can be taken temporarily until its blood sugar level returns to normal.
At a later age, both mother and child are more at risk of type 2 diabetes.
In addition, you run a higher risk of postnatal depression after delivery and an increased blood sugar level increases the risk of infections that usually occur in the kidneys, bladder, cervix and uterus.
How do you develop gestational diabetes?
The hormones ensure that your body temporarily responds less well to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that regulates your blood sugar. Normally, the body makes extra insulin during pregnancy to keep blood sugar at a good level, but this does not happen with gestational diabetes. This leaves too much sugar in the blood.
If you are older and have diabetes (type 2) in the family, you have a higher risk of gestational diabetes. You also run more risk if you have had it before, in a previous pregnancy. Are you weighing too heavily? Then you also run more risk, just like when your cholesterol and blood sugar are too high.
What are the symptoms?
If you suffer from gestational diabetes, you are more thirsty and you will have to urinate more often. Furthermore, you will not notice that much. Chances are that your child is a lot bigger than he should be.
Usually women with gestational diabetes get the advice to exercise more and eat less carbohydrates, fats and sugar. You can be referred to a dietitian to get and keep the glucose levels at normal level with your diet. Often, a diet is enough to prevent the condition from developing and you or your baby becoming harmed. However, if it does not help, insulin will have to be injected.
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, chances are that your midwife will refer you to a gynecologist. You will also receive an ultrasound more often to monitor the growth of your child.