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Lifestyle Changes can Prevent Gestational Diabetes

Lifestyle Changes can Prevent Gestational Diabetes: Interview With Gynecologist of Apollo Cradle

Written by Hannah Joy, M.Phil
Article Reviewed by 
The Medindia Medical Review Team on November 17, 2017 at 5:42 PM
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Highlights :

  • Lifestyle changes and stress behavior put women at high risk during pregnancy
  • Gestational diabetes begins during pregnancy and ends with child birth
  • Gestational diabetes can be prevented with strict diet control, at least 30 minutes of walking and exercise.

Lifestyle changes and stress can affect pregnant women leading to high-risk factors . Mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes during their pregnancy can still have healthy babies. Following a specific diet and stress-free lifestyle can help manage gestational diabetes. However, in some cases, medications and insulin can also play a major role.

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Lifestyle Changes can Prevent Gestational Diabetes: Interview With Gynecologist of Apollo Cradle

Myths and facts like diabetes during pregnancy could lead to type 2 diabetes later in life might not always be possible. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy, PCOS, odd working hours, stress, unhealthy eating habits and family history of diabetes are the major reasons for developing diabetes during pregnancy.

In the past few decades, the land of medicine has evolved tremendously regarding technology and is going to advance even further in the coming years.

Today, doctors can provide more efficient and better treatments to their patients with advancements in technology. It is high time to end certain myths and facts people tend to believe blindly, but rather need to analyze or consult doctors before making any decision or even coming to a conclusion. Advanced treatments and facilities are available that can identify diabetes well in advance and treat the condition early.

Individuals need to follow healthy practices rather than believing in myths. Remember, a stress-free pregnancy is a healthy pregnancy.

Medindia conducted an exclusive interview with Dr. Vimee Bindra - Gynecologist, Reproductive Endocrinologist (Infertility) at Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad.

Dr. Vimee bindra

1. How common or severe is gestational diabetes?

Ans: Gestational diabetes affects 3 to 5 percent of women during pregnancy. They develop high sugars during pregnancy. They are diagnosed as diabetic only after 24 weeks. Uncontrolled sugars are not suitable for the baby. Sometimes, this causes intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, cardiac abnormalities and large for gestational age (LGA) babies.

2. How many mothers will become diabetic dependent on drugs after delivery?

Ans: Mothers developing gestational diabetes could be as high as 25 percent. Oral Glucose tolerance test is recommended for all pregnant women to closely monitor if they are prone to develop type 2 diabetes or not.

3. What is the most common risk factor for gestational diabetes?

Ans: The risk factors could be multifactorial. The very first risk factor could be obesity, multiple pregnancies, family history, advanced age, and PCOD. PCOD remains a high-risk factor for women to develop type 2 diabetes.

4. Can mothers with gestational diabetes have a normal delivery?

Ans: Yes, definitely. Well controlled blood sugar levels and normal growth of the baby can help mothers have a normal delivery with no issues at all, and a regular checkup would be advisable.

5. What is the link between gestational diabetes and premature birth?

Ans: Uncontrolled sugars in pregnant woman prompt doctors to check for dopplers of the baby by looking into the blood flow of the baby. If any discrepancy is found or the flow is not proper, then doctors would have to deliver the baby early. If sugars are left untreated, it can put babies at risk for infections. General infections are more common, and the woman might even go into preterm labor.

6. Is a blood sugar testing required after delivery?

Ans: Yes, six weeks after the delivery, a glucose tolerance test is done once again and usually, sugar levels drop to normal after the birth of the baby.

7. Will gestational diabetes affect breastfeeding?

Ans: No, it does not affect, as mothers with gestational diabetes who breastfeed their baby for at least six months can neutralize the risk of diabetes in the mother.

8. How can gestational diabetes be controlled?

Ans: Regular check ups are necessary, and if the woman has a strong family history of diabetes, an early oral glucose tolerance test is recommended. The mother is also put on a strict diet control, at least 30 minutes of walking and exercise. Fetal Ecoute checkup needs to be done to rule out the cardiac abnormalities in the baby.

Know about Gestational Diabetes

During pregnancy, fluctuation in blood sugar levels and blood pressure are the most common complications. Also, when under stress, women carrying more than one baby tend to develop diabetes and hypertension.

Pregnancy causes hormone shifts, psychological and physical changes, which can lead to stress, making it more difficult to manage blood sugar and blood pressure levels. The safety of both the mother and baby is essential. Doctors wait and watch before they take any decision. However, when things are out of control, extreme steps are taken.

At times like these, if the baby is delivered ahead of time, a need for the artificial incubator in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) may be required. Respiratory support is needed as the baby could develop severe breathing problems due to the immature lungs.

If preterm delivery is planned, an injection for lung maturity is advised by the doctors. However, in case of unplanned emergency delivery can happen and the baby might need surfactant for proper lung function.

The primary cause of maternal, fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality is the variation in blood sugar levels during pregnancy. The fetus is at an increased risk of Intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, cardiac abnormalities, large for gestational age (LGA) baby, and in severe uncontrolled cases may cause Intrauterine death.

Management of gestational diabetes depends on the blood sugar levels, gestational age, blood flow in the placenta and dopplers of the pregnant woman. Gestational diabetes begins during pregnancy and ends with pregnancy.

References :
  1. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2582643/)
  2. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus - (http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/suppl_1/s103)

Source: Medindia

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