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7 Things to Know About Gestational Diabetes

Diabetes test. Pregnant women checking sugar level with glucometer.Gestational diabetes. / blog - things to know about gestational diabetes

Understanding pregnancy and what comes with it can be a heavy undertaking. One topic that is often left behind is gestational diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions defines it as, “a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy in women who don’t already have diabetes.”

Things To Know About Gestational Diabetes

A basic understanding of gestational diabetes can allow you to manage or avoid it during your pregnancy. Here, we have provided seven key things to know about gestational diabetes. Keep these in mind and be sure to talk to a medical professional if you have any further questions. Our midwives are trained to discuss these matters with you throughout the pregnancy. 

1. Gestational diabetes occurs as a result of the body not being able to create enough insulin during pregnancy. 

One of the most important things to know about gestational diabetes is what causes it. While it seems similar to other types of diabetes, there are important differences to understand. With all of the other changes going on in the body, the creation and effective use of insulin are impacted. This is called insulin resistance. While every woman’s body sees levels of insulin resistance, it can lead to gestational diabetes in some. 

2. There are no typical symptoms of gestational diabetes.  

There are unusual things to know about gestational diabetes as well. Symptoms are unlikely in diagnosing gestational diabetes. A history of diabetes gives your doctor the knowledge of knowing you could be susceptible, but there are no defining symptoms. You will have to be tested to know for sure if you have it during your pregnancy.  

3. Gestational diabetes can cause an increase in the size of the baby. 

Things to know about gestational diabetes can seem overwhelming. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains how the increase in the size of a baby occurs. A woman with gestational diabetes passes more sugar to the fetus than it actually needs to intake. This causes the fetus to grow at an unnecessary rate. 

Complications that accompany a larger fetus are: 

  • Labor Difficulties 

  • Requiring a C-Section At Time of Birth

  • Heavy Bleeding Post-Delivery

  • Tears In The Vagina 

4. During the pregnancy, gestational diabetes usually develops around 24 weeks, so testing occurs between 24 and 28 weeks.  

When it occurs is one of the most important things to know about gestational diabetes. The presentation of gestational diabetes does not usually occur until around 24 weeks into the pregnancy. This means that a healthy lifestyle in the first half of the pregnancy can be key to avoiding gestational diabetes in the second half. It leaves a lot of time for the progression of problems to take place without knowing, so it is important to understand the possibilities beforehand.  

5. Gestational diabetes usually occurs too late in the pregnancy to cause lasting birth defects. 

Johns Hopkins Medicine agrees that gestational diabetes occurs at a time in the pregnancy when birth defects are not typically still a concern. Birth defects tend to present themselves in the first trimester of pregnancy, sometime before the 13th week. As stated in the previous things to know about gestational diabetes, it does not typically appear until the 24th week of the pregnancy. 

6. Practicing regular physical activity can aid in preventing gestational diabetes. 

Prevention methods are important things to know about gestational diabetes. Regular physical activity and nutritious meal choices are two of the most important ways to stay on top of it. Finding your favorite ways to stay active during your pregnancy may even lead to trying out new things.  

At City of Oaks Midwifery, we are here to counsel you on staying active and focusing on nutrition during your pregnancy. If you have questions about our pregnancy services they are detailed further here

7. Managing gestational diabetes has four main steps.

If you are handling the presence of gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, understand these four main steps to managing it. Following these with your doctor can make all of the difference for your baby and yourself. 

  • Check your blood sugar levels. 

  • Eat the right amount and right type of foods. 

  • Develop an active routine. 

  • Keep monitoring your baby. 

Gestational diabetes may seem like an intimidating concept but understanding it can make all of the difference. It is never too early to learn about different possibilities in a pregnancy. Looking for more things to know about gestational diabetes? Find resources on our website or give us a call at (919) 823-3695. 


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