Somewhere between your 24th and 28th week of pregnancy your obstetrician will send you to have a glucose tolerance test. This is done to make sure that your pancreas is producing enough insulin and that it is being properly used in your blood stream. If you have an excess amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood, it is a condition called gestational diabetes. This does not necessarily mean that you are a diabetic. It just means that while you are pregnant your body is not creating enough, or responding enough, to insulin. This is can be due to the hormone changes and weight gain associated with the pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is not something to mess around with. Knowledge of the condition is your best weapon against developing any complications of the disease.
What Can Happen to You
If you do not follow your obstetrician's diet and advice, and take any medications prescribed for you, you may:
Develop high blood pressure and a condition called preeclampsia. This can be fatal to both you and your baby.
Become depressed. Uncontrolled blood sugar can cause mood swings and depression.
Require a Cesarean section. If your baby grows too large due to the diabetes, there is an increased chance you will need a C-section for the birth.
In addition, if you do not control your blood sugar while you are pregnant, there is a better chance you will develop type II diabetes later in life.
What Can Happen with the Baby
Because the nutrients and chemicals in your blood are passed through to the baby, he or she will have high blood sugar too. Once born, when the infant's own systems take over the cleaning of the blood, there will be a sudden drop in blood sugar. This may result in hypoglycemia, and your child may become lethargic, have problems eating, stop breathing, or have seizures. In addition, he or she may develop respiratory distress syndrome and need to be delivered sooner than you would like.
For the most part, gestational diabetes can be controlled. Your obstetrician will help you to understand the best course of action for maintaining a normal blood sugar level. You will need to monitor this daily and take the necessary steps to lower it when it gets high. Watch what you eat and drink, get plenty of exercise, take your medications, and the gestational diabetes will not be anything to worry about. For more information contact an obstetrician from a clinic like like Desert Rose OBGYN PC.