Understanding Diabetes During Pregnancy


Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy is also referred to as gestational diabetes. This is a condition that emerges only during pregnancy. A pregnant woman who has never been diagnosed may develop this type of diabetes during her pregnancy. Research shows that two percent of pregnant women have gestational diabetes. It is essential to keep gestational diabetes well controlled in order to prevent the child or mother being negatively affected. As pregnancy progresses, there is a chance that blood glucose levels may increase. After diagnosis for gestational diabetes, the clinician may refer the patient to a diabetes health care team to ensure proper care.

Usually, the diabetes health care team is comprised of a diabetes specialist, diabetes educator, endocrinologist, and a dietitian. This team will work together and help the pregnant woman keep her blood sugar levels under control. They may adjust medications and diet according to the progress or deterioration of the patient. The goal is to preserve the health of the mother and ensure delivery of a healthy child. This can be achieved through numerous methods. Diabetes during pregnancy is not necessarily dangerous or alarming. It simply needs the proper care at the right time. Gestational diabetes usually disappears after pregnancy.

Diabetes is a condition where not enough insulin is secreted, or the secreted insulin is not utilized correctly. During pregnancy, various hormones block the action or creation of insulin. To cope up with the changes that occur during pregnancy, a woman’s body often produces more insulin in order to cope with rising blood sugar. When the body is not able to produce the extra insulin needed, gestational diabetes develops. This type of diabetes generally begins in the second phase of pregnancy. Diabetes during pregnancy usually disappears after the birth of the baby. If diabetes continues after childbirth, it usually means that diabetes was already in existence even before pregnancy.

Causes for diabetes during pregnancy:

There is no specific cause for developing diabetes during pregnancy. People with the following health history are prone to gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy. (Not all potential causes of gestational diabetes are listed here):

• Previous stillbirth
• A family history of gestational diabetes
• Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 4.5 kg in a previous delivery
• Obesity
• Ovary syndrome

Symptoms of diabetes during pregnancy

There are no specific symptoms for gestational diabetes that aren’t found in other types of diabetes. A few symptoms may include (Not all symptoms for gestational diabetes are listed here):

• Frequent urination
• Tiredness
• Increased thirst

Many pregnant woman will experience these symptoms. Therefore, it is always better to check blood sugar levels every month during pregnancy. Always get checked for diabetes.

There are nursing homes with specialized doctors and nurses who take outstanding care of women with gestational diabetes. Women with gestational diabetes need to have frequent antenatal appointments. If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it is essential to take regular blood sugar tests to monitor the glucose levels. Being careful about one’s diet may be ideal. Once diagnosed, women with gestational diabetes should consult their clinician to find out the best next steps.

*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.