Hyderabad: Gestational diabetes is a condition where a pregnant woman develops diabetes for the first time. Pregnant women are regularly monitored throughout the three trimesters for gestational diabetes. “There is an increased chance of gestational diabetes if there is a family history, if it is a late pregnancy or if the patient had polycystic ovary syndrome. Most cases are diagnosed during the third trimester,” says gynaecologist Dr Rajamma Thomas.
Pregnant women diagnosed with diabetes are often recommended a diet according to their sugar levels. “We advise our patients to not eat too much rice, potatoes or sweet fruits like grapes, mangoes and sapodilla. Some cases are not that severe so their diet charts are altered accordingly. We also recommend patients have an echo test during their second trimester to check for cardiac defects. Patients with high levels of blood sugar are advised to take insulin which is actually safe even during pregnancy,” says Dr Vimee Bhindra, a gynaecologist.
The increase in sugar levels in the blood during pregnancy is because of placental hormones. “Most cases of gestational diabetes are cured after pregnancy because the placenta is removed. However, it is an indication that the mother might suffer from Type 2 diabetes in the future,” says Dr Thomas. “I suffered from gestational diabetes during my first pregnancy. My mother suffered from the same when my younger brother was born so it was expected for me to have it too. I would often feel thirsty and fatigued. Any wound or cut took a lot of time to heal. My mother’s diabetes developed into type 2 after pregnancy but mine was cured,” says Shabina Ameena.
Gestational diabetes leads to macrosomia, a condition where the newborn is larger than average. “Sometimes, there can be growth restrictions too, but 80 per cent of babies whose mothers have diabetes are born overweight.” “Special attention should be paid to ensure that the child’s weight is in check or else it could lead to type 2 diabetes during adolescence. We monitor the offspring 48 hours after birth and ensure that breast-feeding is done on time. A proper diet before pregnancy with regular exercise reduces the risk of gestational diabetes,” says Dr Bhindra.
Since the child is overweight, the mother is advised to get a C-section. Chances of complications arising while giving birth are not high, but problems may arise later if sugar levels are not controlled properly....