Gestational Diabetes

What Is It?

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus or maternal diabetes is a different to having diabetes when not pregnant. it only lasts the duration of the pregnancy. Women with it are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and their babies are more likely to have a high birth weight and suffer birth trauma.
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Managing Gestational Diabetes

  • Monitor blood glucose levels
  • Adopt a healthy eating pattern - eat small amount often and maintian a healthy weight but make sure to have adequate nutritionfor you and your baby.
  • Maintain physical activity, but not too much - try walkijg to local shops instead of driving, gardening, take stairs instead of lifts or join a walking group or maybe start a walking group with family and friends.

How to try and prevent it

Women with high blood sugar and/or gestational diabetes tend to have bigger babies, and just the size of the baby alone can cause complications in child birth and I'm sure there are many others.

One way to prevent diabetes during pregnancy is to exercise every day (even if it's just taking a 30 minute walk), avoid any processed sugar and simple carbohydrates like products made with white flour, pasta, white rice, etc. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables (or if you're tending towards high blood sugar, eat more vegetables and less fruit) and stay away from fruit juices.

Affecting the next pregnancy

Some women who have had gestational diabetes before, get it again. Estimates vary widely - somewhere between 30-85 per cent get it more than once.

If you've had gestational diabetes before, you'll either be asked to monitor your blood glucose yourself, or you'll be offered the OGTT earlier, around 14 weeks of pregnancy and again at 28 weeks, if the first test was normal.

Also you'd have to to treat yourself with insulin then you're more likely to get it again than not; only one in four women who need insulin escape the condition in a later pregnancy.

And you would be likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Just remember to keep your weight and blood sugar levels under control and you and your baby will be alright.