Kavita was elated to meet her Gynecologist upon completion of second trimester of her pregnancy. But, her doctor was worried. Her blood diagnostics indicated HbA1C of 9%. What does that mean? Kavita may have Gestational Diabetes.
This is possible in pregnancy even if there is no previous history of diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes isconfirmed with Oral Glucose Tolerance Testwith a 75-g glucose load mg/dl mmol/l irrespective of meals. Results are checked post prandial after an hour and than 2 hour to confirm diabetes in pregnancy.
Why does Gestational Diabetes occur?To explain in brief, adverse insulin response due to hormones released from the placenta is the main cause of gestational diabetes. After the birth of the baby, gestational diabetes subsides but the consequences are serious including an abnormally large head of the baby. At birth, low blood glucose levels and even severe jaundice in the new born baby is observed. The severe consequences include stillbirth or seizures in the newborn, if maternal diabetes is not regulated, warn experts.
Gestational diabetes should not ignored, as there is:
- Maternal risk at time of delivery for C-section and preeclampsia (high blood pressure due to pregnancy).
- Risk of developing childhood obesity leading to type 2 diabetes in later life, in the child.
What to do if you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes?
Follow your Gyanecologist's instructions. Healthy diet and regular exercise are sufficient to bring down blood glucose levels initially. Weight gain should be gradual and monitoring of HbA1C along with Fasting as well as Post Prandial blood glucose levels is must as per doctor’s instructions.
Eat Healthy: Nutrition is the foundation of healthy pregnancy. Holistic development of the baby is ascertained by eating well. Diet experts recommend that you eat three main meals and two healthy snacks a day. Eating all vegetables is a priority. A clean cut fresh salad, a seasonal vegetable and a green leafy vegetable are mandatory in lunch as well as dinner. Vegetables provide the fiber as well as all essential vitamins and minerals necessary for both mother and child. Proteins like pulses, lentils, dairy and non-vegetarian foods in all meals help ensure healthy weight gain of baby and mother moreover reduces risk of spiking blood glucose levels as seen in cereal rich diet. Carbohydrates advised are high fiber sources from millets, grains and brown rice.
Kavita was suggested a lot of green vegetable soups, protein shakes and coconut water by her diabetes educator to increase nutrition quotient and fluid intake. This enables healthy nutrient passage to baby and maintaining placental health as well as amniotic fluid quality.
Consult a certified diet expert or gestational diabetes educator for a customized plan that includes all nutrients and will help regulate your weight as well as blood glucose levels during pregnancy.
Exercise: Exercise is recommended during pregnancy for healthy labor. Moreover, staying physically active encourages reduced insulin sensitivity and a better blood glucose profile in pregnant women. Walking, swimming and prenatal yoga are the most recommended form of exercise and gynecologists discretion needs to be considered.
Sleep Well: Sleeping releases hormones that regulate the metabolism. Experts claim that erratic sleep patterns also affect insulin sensitivity in the body and can cause diabetes. Rest when tired, take afternoon naps and maintain a healthy night time sleep ritual.
To regulate blood glucose levels in gestational diabetes mellitus treatment follow diet and exercise routine. Medications or insulin therapy may be suggested during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a condition. It is not a disease. It can be managed and healthy delivery possible. According to American Diabetes Association, women need to be extra cautious after delivery because if they have had diabetes during pregnancy, it is quite likely to develop adult onset diabetes later in life.
Well Woman Clinic, Nirvana Country, Gurugram provides holistic counseling services during pregnancy. Dr. Nupur Gupta and her team of experts are dedicatedly managing each pregnancy and ensure healthy development of every baby. The medical team follows all scientific protocols and ensures excellent clinical results.