Do You Know The Risk Factors For Gestational Diabetes

Approximately 4% of all pregnant women develop gestational diabetes usually in the second trimester of pregnancy. The condition usually disappears after the birth of the baby.

There are a few risk factors for developing gestational diabetes. Obesity is one risk factor for gestational diabetes. Individuals with a BMI of 30 or over are considered to be obese. Other risk factors for gestational diabetes is a family history of type 2 diabetes, being pregnant at age 35 or older, having a history of delivering large babies between 8lbs. 5 oz and 9 lbs. 14 oz., having high blood pressure, and being African American, Native American, Pacific Island Descent or South or East Asian heritage.

If you have any of the above risk factors for gestational diabetes it is important to discuss the factors with your obstetrician, so that your doctor can monitor your pregnancy closely and you for any signs of gestational diabetes. If the mom-to-be develops gestational diabetes it is important that the mom receive good prenatal care to ensure the health of the woman and have the baby she is carrying.

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes your obstetrician will instruct you in ways to control the diabetes which may include proper diet, adequate amounts of daily physical activity, and good prenatal care. Rarely the mom-to-be may need to take insulin in order to keep blood glucose levels as close to normal range as possible. It is possible to control gestational diabetes so that both mom and baby have a happy ending.

Testing for gestational diabetes is part of the regular prenatal care routine. The test is usually done around weeks 24 – 28 of pregnancy. If you have risk factors for gestational diabetes your obstetrician may test you earlier in the pregnancy. The two tests used to screen for gestational diabetes are the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test and the Three-hour glucose tolerance test.

Gestational diabetes develops due to the increase in hormones of pregnancy. These hormones can block the action of insulin.

Gestational diabetes can lead to complications for the mom-to-be and for her baby. Complications from gestational diabetes include:

* An overly large baby
* Increased risk for cesarean section delivery of the baby
* High blood pressure during the pregnancy
* Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) for the baby right after birth
* Increased risk for stillbirth
* An increased risk for obesity and developing type 2 diabetes later in life

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