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A guide to diabetes in pregnancy treatment

Just as every woman and pregnancy is different, so too are diabetes cases during pregnancies. Therefore, it's of the utmost importance that we know how to manage them. When it comes to diabetes and pregnancy, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Diabetes in pregnancy treatment should be tailored to each individual woman based on her unique circumstances. Women often need a different approach to diabetes in pregnancy treatment than before they became pregnant. So getting gestational diabetes support will help the woman and her baby stay healthy during pregnancy.

Diabetes in pregnancy treatment helps control blood sugar levels to ensure the good health of both mother and baby during pregnancy.
Diabetes in pregnancy treatment helps control blood sugar levels to ensure the good health of both mother and baby during pregnancy. Photo courtesy: Pexels/@garonpiceli

What is Diabetes in pregnancy?

Diabetes during pregnancy or gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can induce serious health problems for both the mother and baby. It happens when the body can't make enough insulin during pregnancy to control blood sugar levels. This form of diabetes transpires only in the 2nd half of pregnancy, between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Undiagnosed gestational diabetes can put both mother and infant in danger. Women with gestational diabetes can stay healthy and have a healthy pregnancy by working closely with their gestational diabetes support team to manage their blood sugar levels.

What are the symptoms of Diabetes in pregnancy?

The most common symptom of gestational diabetes is high blood sugar levels. Other symptoms can include:

  • High blood pressure: Due to the extra stress on the body, blood pressure can rise during pregnancy.
  • An increased amount of amniotic fluid: This is the fluid that surrounds and protects the baby in the womb.
  • Protein in the urine: High levels of sugar in the blood can damage the kidneys and cause the protein to leak into the urine.
  • Rapid weight gain: Women with gestational diabetes often gain too much weight during pregnancy.Blurry vision: High blood sugar levels can cause the lenses in the eyes to swell, resulting in blurry vision.
  • Increased susceptibility to bladder infections: Increased sugar levels in the urine can provide a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to bladder infections.

Women facing any of these symptoms should consult the gestational diabetes support team. They will be able to diagnose the problem and put a plan in place to help manage diabetes.

What are the risks of Diabetes in pregnancy?

There can be many risks when it comes to diabetes and pregnancy. High blood sugar levels can lead to problems for both the mother and her baby. Some of the risks associated with diabetes in pregnancy include:

  • Premature birth: Women can face preterm labour or give birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy if they have diabetes.
  • Excessive bleeding during delivery: Mothers with diabetes are at an increased risk for heavy bleeding during childbirth.
  • Increased risk of cesarean delivery: The chances of needing a C-section increase when the mother has diabetes.
  • Complications for the baby: Babies of mothers with diabetes are at an increased risk for several complications, including low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), jaundice, and respiratory problems.
  • Baby being larger than average (macrosomia): This can make delivery more difficult and increase the risk of cesarean delivery.
  • Respiratory distress syndrome: This is a condition in which the baby has difficulty breathing and may need special care after birth.
  • Type 2 diabetes: Women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

What are the treatments for Diabetes in pregnancy?

In most cases, it is sufficient to follow a special diet recommended by a nutritionist based on the body mass index of the pregnant woman and her taste preferences. The effectiveness of diet therapy is determined by maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Diet in gestational diabetes must follow the following:

  • Exclude simple carbohydrates - sweets, pastries, white bread, honey, sugar, jam, sugary drinks and fruits, and ice cream.
  • Limit complex carbohydrates - cereals (semolina, rice - exclude), potatoes, corn, legumes, durum wheat pasta. Distribute their intake evenly over several meals throughout the day to eliminate starvation (causes the formation of ketone bodies).
  • Eat enough protein - meat, fish, seafood, poultry, mushrooms, eggs, hard cheese, dairy and sour milk products of medium fat content (3-5%).
  • It is necessary to enrich the diet with fibre and vitamins - greens, vegetables (except for boiled carrots and beets), and sweet and sour berries (excluding grapes).
  • Choose the right fats, do not exceed the amount recommended by the doctor -vegetable oils (add to ready meals), nuts and seeds—animal fats (butter, sausages) - limit.
  • While cooking, boil, stew, steam, and bake dishes. Don't fry. Do not deep fry. 

A detailed menu for a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes is drawn up individually, taking into account the features of her diet. Blood sugar levels will be monitored to ensure that the diet is working and to make any necessary adjustments.

Conclusion

The treatment of Diabetes in pregnancy needs to be carefully monitored to ensure that both the mother and her baby stay healthy. Taking gestational diabetes support and care can help reduce the risks associated with this condition. Always remember to have a balanced diet and monitor blood sugar levels regularly, which will help keep diabetes under control during pregnancy.

(The views expressed by the author in this article are personal and do not reflect those of Connected to India.)

Author
Yogesh Malviya
Yogesh Malviya
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