Keep reading to learn more about gestational diabetes and how you can manage it through your pregnancy.
Where does it come from?
Gestational diabetes only happens during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when you have high blood sugar levels while pregnant, but those levels were normal before you were pregnant. In essence, your placenta makes hormones that can lead to a buildup of glucose in your blood. Generally, the pancreas can make enough insulin to handle the excess. If your pancreas can’t keep up, though, your blood sugar levels increase, eventually leading to gestational diabetes. Don’t worry, though. You can still have a healthy baby. Talk to your physician about simple things you can do to manage your blood sugar levels.
After your baby is born, gestational diabetes usually is gone, but not always. Gestational diabetes does increase your likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes, so we recommend following up with your physician.
Are You at Risk for Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational Diabetes affects a small amount (between 2% and 10%) of pregnancies in the United States every year. There are risk factors to help you understand your chances. You are more likely to get gestational diabetes if you:
-Were overweight before you became pregnant
-Have given birth to a baby with certain birth defects
-Are African American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American
-Have diabetes in your family
-Have had gestational diabetes with an earlier pregnancy
-Have high blood sugar levels
-Have high blood pressure
Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes may develop in the second half of your pregnancy. To catch it, your doctor will usually check to see if you have gestational diabetes between week 24 and 28. If you have high risk factors, your doctor may test earlier.
Your physician will track how much weight you gain over your pregnancy and will update you if you need to take medicine to manage your gestational diabetes. If you’re willing to change your lifestyle for the rest of your pregnancy, you can avoid complications from gestational diabetes and give birth to a healthy baby. If you have questions, give us a call at (281) 444-3440 today to learn more.