The mainstay in the management of gestational diabetes is careful monitoring of the blood glucose levels and frequent ante-natal visits to the doctor. Controlling blood sugar is essential to prevent adverse effects for both the mother and the baby.
In addition the following steps are recommended -
Intake of more fruits and vegetables and less of starchy food is recommended. Depending on the diet it has to be tailor-made according to the blood glucose level of the affected individuals.
Regular moderate physical exercise has multiple benefits. Exercise can increase the utilization of glucose for energy thereby lowering the blood glucose level. Also it has been shown that exercising can decrease insulin resistance. But be sure not to overstrain yourself !!
If the blood glucose is not controlled the above measures, the doctor may prescribe medications such as insulin injections which has to be administered regularly along with frequent monitoring of the blood glucose levels.
Nowadays, very reliable home blood glucose monitoring instruments are available for use. Be sure to know the symptoms of hypoglycemia (reduced sugar level) while on injection.
As a general rule anti-diabetic oral tablets are not prescribed during pregnancy as they can cause some problems with the growth of the fetus.
If the blood glucose is maintained at near normal levels and if there are no other complications, the woman can have a normal delivery.
During delivery the glucose levels and the insulin administered, needs to be monitored closely and frequently. Care is taken to check whether the baby is large sized, as vaginal delivery may not be possible then.††In such cases,†Caesarian section may be resorted to.
Following delivery there will be a drop in blood glucose and so the insulin level is titrated. Blood glucose will be monitored frequently during the initial days to prevent both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia (high glucose level). Antibiotics are also given to the woman following delivery, to prevent infection .
The just born baby is closely observed for signs of hypoglycemia, respiratory distress or jaundice. If any such condition is present the baby is treated accordingly