Active Moms

What is Gestational Diabetes?

14th Sep 2011

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) means a derangement of sugar metabolism first detected during pregnancy. It may occur in 4-6% of women; caused generally due to excessive stress, excess weight gain/ obesity, late pregnancy; in women with a family history of diabetes. It may also sometimes precipitate due to past hormonal imbalance, hypertension or DM in the last pregnancy.

Good blood sugar control is the only key to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced glucose intolerance can be managed with the help of dietary modifications & adequate exercise. It is very important to balance energy intake & energy output/expenditure to have good control. Despite, if the levels do not fall in the control range, insulin administration is the only option to have a good pregnancy outcome.

Some of the problems associated with GDM are:

  • Hydramnios  or excess amniotic fluid
  • Big/large baby – the baby becomes very big in the womb due to availability of high levels of glucose from the mother’s blood via the placenta which could difficulty in normal delivery
  • Hypo/low blood sugar in the newborn – the newborn baby may not drink enough breast milk for the first few days; enough to maintain its normal blood sugar (the mother’s high blood sugar levels).

It thus becomes important to follow a diet plan which will provide adequate energy for the     mother & the growing fetus, yet allow maintenance of blood sugar within normal limits. This will call for eating appropriate food portions with right time intervals. Seeking advice from a dietician would be of great help to choose from varied food options without compromising the intake of required nutrients.

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