- On October 7, 2014
Gestational Diabetes occurs when pregnant women who have never had diabetes have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. According to a 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of gestational diabetes is as high as 9.2% in the U.S. Normally, gestational diabetes goes away after the pregnancy but there remains a 50-70% chance that a woman may develop type II diabetes later in life.
Some women develop gestational diabetes due to poor diet and exercise choices for others a family history of Type II diabetes is a contributing factor. While some may lead a relatively healthy lifestyle and still experience this phenomenon when they’re pregnant. If gestational diabetes is left untreated it can cause serious problems for the baby and mother. The baby may be very large in weight, over 10+ lbs., which can lead to an emergency C-Section and increase birth complications for both mother and baby. The baby may also have birth defects that are present at birth, or complications such as breathing problems, jaundice and low blood sugar. The jaundice is a result of a liver problem or incomplete development and the baby will look a pale yellowish color. The worst possible outcome of gestational diabetes is stillbirth.
Who is more likely to get gestational diabetes? Those that are over 30, overweight/obese, or have a family history of diabetes are at higher risk for gestational diabetes. There’s also a chance you may develop gestational diabetes if you had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, or if in your last pregnancy you gave birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 1/2 pounds or was stillborn. Even women without any of these risk factors can develop gestational diabetes. This is why health care providers see if you have this condition with a prenatal test called a glucose tolerance test. The glucose tolerance test is taken between 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. Despite possible uncontrollable factors that may lead to gestational diabetes, you can work to lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes by eating a healthy, well-balanced and exercising regularly.
If you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes the dietitians at Pea Pod Nutrition and Lactation Support can give you the tools you need to manage gestational diabetes through diet and exercise with a customized plan that fits your lifestyle. If you are thinking about becoming pregnant or are pregnant and want to learn how to make healthy lifestyle changes to lower your disease risk and increase your overall health call us today at 678-607-6052 to make an appointment for a prenatal nutrition consult or sign up for one of our classes on Prenatal Nutrition today!
Georgia State University
Coordinated Masters of Health Science Program