Know about Gestational Diabetes

Know about Gestational Diabetes
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Gestational diabetes happens during pregnancy. It means you have high blood sugar levels, but those levels were normal before female becomes pregnant. Gestational diabetes is the fastest growing type of diabetes. It is a condition in which high blood sugar develops during pregnancy and usually disappears after giving birth. During pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones that can lead to a buildup of glucose in your blood. Usually, your pancreas can make enough insulin to handle that. If not, your blood sugar levels will rise and can cause gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes usually occurs in the second half (second trimester) of pregnancy. Gynecologist will check to see if female have gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of their pregnancy. The doctor may test sooner if they are at high risk. 

Any woman can develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, but they are at an increased risk if;

• Body mass index (BMI) is above 30

• Had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy

• One of the parents or siblings has diabetes

• Female who is over the age of 35 years

• Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

Women with gestational diabetes usually have no symptoms. Most learn they have it during routine pregnancy screening tests. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed using an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). To test for gestational diabetes, you will need to drink a sugary/glucose water drink. This will raise your blood sugar levels. An hour later, you will take a blood test to see how your body handled all that sugar. If the results show that your blood sugar is higher than a certain cutoff (anywhere from 130 [mg/dL] or higher), you will need more tests like HbA1c i.e. three months average sugar.

Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, gestational diabetes if not carefully managed can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels and cause problems for both mother and child. If you have gestational diabetes; your baby may be at increased risk of excessive birth weight, early (preterm) birth, respiratory distress syndrome, and high blood pressure (Preeclampsia).

Female with gestational diabetes must keep check of their blood sugar. Consult your doctor about the sugar right level and how to manage it during pregnancy. Blood sugar is affected by pregnancy, what you eat and drink, and even how much physical activity your body is involved in. You may need to eat differently and be more active. You also may need to take insulin or medicines. 

Treatment for gestational diabetes aims to keep blood glucose levels equal to those of pregnant women who do not have gestational diabetes. Below mentioned are the targets for women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy;





Fasting Blood sugar (FBS)

<90 mg/dl

<95 mg/dl

<100 mg/dl

Post prandial blood sugar (PPBS)

<120 mg/dl

<130 mg/dl

<140 mg/dl

HbA1c (3 months average sugar)


<6.0 %


Gestational diabetes can often be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, some women may need medication (metformin) and/or insulin injections to help manage gestational diabetes.

To manage gestational diabetes, female must eat three regular meals and two to three snacks each day. Have one of the snacks at night. A dietitian can help you create a healthy meal plan.

Exercise is another way to keep blood sugar under control. It helps to balance food intake. Exercising regular exercise allows your body to use glucose without extra insulin. This helps combat insulin resistance, and is what makes exercise helpful to people with diabetes. Never start an exercise program without checking with your doctor first. After checking with your doctor, you can exercise regularly during and after pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about activities that are safe during pregnancy, like walking, yoga, or any other physical activity.

Because pregnancy causes the body’s need for energy to change, blood sugar levels can fluctuate. It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels at home, to check that management of gestational diabetes is keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range. This is to ensure that appropriate treatment is provided and can be changed as necessary by your doctor.

Managing gestational diabetes includes - following a healthy eating plan and being physically active. If your eating plan and physical activity aren’t enough to keep your blood glucose in your target range, you may need insulin or medicine.

After the baby is born, gestational diabetes usually disappears. A blood glucose test (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) (OGTT) should performed six weeks after delivery to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes later in life, and should be tested for diabetes at least every 2 – 3 years.

One third of women who had Gestational Diabetes suffer diabetes or a milder form of elevated blood sugar soon after giving birth. Between 15% and 70% of women with GD develop diabetes later in life.

Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult birth, as well as keep you and your baby healthy. It is always recommendable to see doctor before trying to get pregnant so that your doctor can evaluate your risk of gestational diabetes as a part of your overall childbearing wellness plan.

Once you are pregnant, your doctor will check gestational diabetes as part of your prenatal care. Females can lower the chance of getting gestational diabetes by losing extra weight before they get pregnant if they are overweight. Being physically active before and during pregnancy also may help prevent gestational diabetes. Eat healthy. Limit saturated fat. Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains to stay healthy.