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About Gestational Diabetes



Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a serious health concern during pregnancy, usually identified between the 24th and 28th weeks. 

Raised blood glucose levels are a prominent feature of this health issue, posing risks to the expecting mother along her unborn child. 

Read this article to understand and deal with this problem better.

Impact on the Baby

There are multiple repercussions of high glucose levels during pregnancy for the unborn child. 

These include:

1. An increased likelihood of the baby being born prematurely, which can lead to several health complications. A baby born with a higher than normal birth weight – a condition known as macrosomia – faces difficulties during delivery, potentially necessitating a cesarean section. 

2. Post-birth, these babies may experience hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels), and breathing problems, and in some severe cases, there’s a high risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. 

3. Children born to mothers with gestational diabetes have a heightened risk of becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes later in their lives, highlighting the long-term implications of this condition.

Impact on the Mother

Gestational diabetes significantly affects the mother’s health as well. 

1. One of the most serious conditions it can lead to is preeclampsia, characterized by high blood pressure and concerning levels of protein in the urine during the latter pregnancy stages. 

2. This condition can mount into severe complications for mother and child, making premature delivery unavoidable. 

3. Additionally, gestational diabetes increases the likelihood of the mother needing a cesarean section due to the larger size of the baby. It also raises the risk of the mother developing type 2 diabetes in the future, indicating the lasting health implications beyond pregnancy.

Understanding the Causes

The onset of gestational diabetes is mainly attributed to insufficient insulin production during pregnancy. Insulin controls blood glucose levels. 

Changes in hormones and weight gain during pregnancy can cause insulin resistance, which means that cells in the body are less able to use insulin. 

While insulin resistance is a common aspect of later pregnancy stages, those unable to compensate with adequate insulin production face the risk of developing gestational diabetes. 

Factors increasing the risk include: 

  • obesity 
  • excessive weight gain during pregnancy 
  • a family history of diabetes 

These highlight the role of both genetic and lifestyle factors.

Treatment and Management

Blood glucose levels must be closely watched and controlled in order for gestational diabetes to be effectively managed. 

This includes: 

1. Checking blood sugar often, both at home and during prenatal visits, and using ultrasounds to check on the baby’s development from time to time. 

2. Lifestyle modifications, mainly changes in diet and exercise routines, are usually recommended to manage blood sugar levels. 

3. A gestational diabetes-friendly diet typically focuses on lean proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, low-fat dairy, non-starchy vegetables, and moderated fruit intake.

4. If lifestyle adjustments prove inadequate, medication or insulin injections may become necessary to maintain blood glucose at safe levels. 

It is critical for women diagnosed with gestational diabetes to maintain close communication with their healthcare providers, making sure their health and that of their baby are monitored closely.

Preventive Measures

While gestational diabetes cannot always be prevented, adopting certain measures can significantly reduce the risk. 

These include maintaining a healthy weight prior to and throughout pregnancy, adhering to a balanced diet rich in nutrients, engaging in regular physical activity, and attending all prenatal appointments. 

For women with a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or higher, specific dietary changes are recommended to lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes, emphasizing the importance of pre-pregnancy planning and health optimization.


Gestational diabetes presents a complex challenge during pregnancy for both mother and baby. 

You can effectively manage this condition by keeping a close eye on it, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, and getting the right medical help when needed. This will lead to a healthier pregnancy and a good start for the baby.

For more information, visit Canadian Pharmacy

Gestational diabetes

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