Gaining weight and change in hormone levels are part and parcel and signs of a healthy pregnancy. But, at times, your body cannot cope up with rising need for a hormone called insulin, due to which your body does not get energy, eventually resulting into gestational diabetes. This disorder is diagnosed in pregnant women. Diabetes is a disorder when the blood sugar level (glucose) is excessively high in your body. Gestational diabetes is a condition wherein the glucose level is high in a pregnant woman, and which can eventually prove harmful for the baby. In United States, out of every 100 pregnant women, three to eight percent suffer from gestational diabetes. Whereas in India, approximately 15% of urban population suffers from diabetes, therefore making chances of Indian women suffering from this disorder higher, and there is increased risk of developing diabetes in both child and mother.
Also known as diabetes mellitus or glucose intolerance of pregnancy, gestational diabetes can be controlled and managed by following a regular exercise regime and balanced diet. In most of the cases, it goes away after the woman gives birth to the baby.
The probable diagnosis of gestational diabetes can be done between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. This is the time when the insulin resistance usually begins. If you have suffered from it before, or even if your doctor thinks that there are chances of you to suffer from gestational diabetes, you may get the tests done before the 13th week of pregnancy.
If gestational diabetes is not controlled or is left untreated, there are chances that the baby may suffer from following problem:
- Still birth or death during infancy
- Macrosomia (overweight baby)
- Shoulder dystocia (birth trauma)
- Neonatal hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level)
- Prolonged jaundice
- Low blood calcium
- Respiratory distress syndrome