How Big Is An 11 1 2 Week Old Fetus Diabetes for Two – Diabetes in Pregnancy

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Diabetes for Two – Diabetes in Pregnancy

There are several types of “Diabetes in Pregnancy”. Diabetes can sometimes appear for the first time during pregnancy and this type, which is usually picked up by a routine test about halfway through the pregnancy, is called “gestational diabetes.” This type can disappear after the pregnancy. Also, a woman could have diabetes before pregnancy, either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and needs to carefully plan her pregnancy with this pre-existing condition (stay tuned for part 2 in my next article!).

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes affects about 5% of pregnancies and is detected through a routine test that all women should receive at about 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. If the doctor or midwife suspects that there may be diabetes, they will check earlier. The screening test is a non-fasting sugar drink followed by a blood test 1 hour later. If this is elevated, she will usually have another test which is also a sugary drink and has a fasting blood test and then another blood test 1 and 2 hours after the drink. If her results are elevated, then she is usually referred to a diabetes education team for a gestational diabetes meal plan and routine blood sugar testing. If the woman is unable to control her blood sugar with her diet, then she will start on insulin. Insulin is a safe, easy and effective method of controlling blood sugar during pregnancy. A woman develops diabetes during pregnancy because pregnancy is a state where there is more demand for insulin due to the increasing resistance to insulin as the pregnancy progresses as a result of the hormones in pregnancy.

Risk Factors for Getting Gestational Diabetes

These are similar to risk factors for developing diabetes in the non-pregnant state, such as having a relative with diabetes, belonging to an ethnic group where diabetes is more common such as Aboriginal Canadians, Latin Americans, Indian Canadians, being overweight or obese, being older, having a previous pregnancy or giving birth to a large baby (larger than 9 pounds).

Complications of gestational diabetes

If gestational diabetes is undetected or untreated, the higher sugars in the mother’s blood can affect the baby. This could result in a larger baby, which causes difficulties at the time of birth and a higher C-section or forceps rate. The baby has a greater chance of spending time in the intensive care unit due to breathing problems or low blood sugar. However, gestational diabetes can be treated fairly easily with a combination of a diabetic meal plan and sometimes insulin and these complications can be avoided. Birth defects are not a concern because the higher blood sugar levels generally do not occur until after 20 weeks of pregnancy and this is after the baby has developed its organs.

Track After Delivery

If a woman has had gestational diabetes, she should be screened for diabetes before her next pregnancy to make sure she did not develop diabetes before this pregnancy. That is why it is very important that women who have had gestational diabetes follow up after the baby is born to see if the diabetes is gone. Usually, this involves a 2-hour sugar drinking test, 6 weeks to 6 months after delivery. She must continue to be checked regularly (every 1-3 years) to see if she has developed diabetes for her own health and certainly before another pregnancy to protect her next child from high sugars if she developed diabetes before that pregnancy. If a woman had diabetes during pregnancy, this will help her reduce the risk of developing diabetes to reach her ideal weight before the next pregnancy.

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