Isn’t it crazy how life works? I am part of a football family where babies come in three’s. Our coaching staff, for the most part, has been together for a decade. During this time, clusters of infants have been born into the football family. We have had premature babies (one weighing in at 2.9 pounds), full term babies, two sets of twins (almost), and baby miracles.
The joy of pregnancy is overwhelming; however, people with diabetes are at a higher risk during pregnancy and must control their blood sugar levels in order to reduce and pregnancy risks. Read on for factors to diminish gestational diabetes symptoms and risks during pregnancy and learn strategies to help maintain healthy habits.
Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose or sugar levels are too high. When you are pregnant, too much glucose is not good for your baby. Out of every 100 pregnant women in the United States, between three and eight get gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only pregnant women get. If a woman gets diabetes when she is pregnant, but was never diagnosed with diabetes prior to pregnancy, she has gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause the following risks during pregnancy:
- The baby’s body is larger than normal—called macrosomia. A large baby may need to be delivered by a surgical procedure called cesarean section, instead of naturally through the vagina.
- The baby’s blood sugar is too low—called hypoglycemia. Starting to breastfeed right away can help get more glucose to the baby. The baby may also need to get glucose through a tube into his or her blood.
- The baby’s skin turns yellowish and the whites of the eyes may change color—called jaundice. This condition is easily treated and is not serious if treated.
- The baby may have trouble breathing and need oxygen or other help—called Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
- The baby may have low mineral levels in the blood. This problem can causes muscle twitching or cramping, but can be treated by giving the baby extra minerals
(Information taken from the following article: NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
Maintain Healthy Habits
Most women who have gestational diabetes during pregnancy will not suffer from gestational diabetes after birth. These women, however, do run a greater risk of developing diabetes in the future than their counterparts. Women with gestational diabetes help to ensure a healthy baby by taking the following steps:
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Control blood sugar levels
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Follow your physician’s pregnancy plan
Approximately five percent (about 200,000) of all pregnancies have gestational diabetes diagnosis each year in the United States. The women and children involved are at a higher of being obese and developing diabetes later in life. Healthy lifestyles can assist with living a life free of diabetes.