Gestational diabetes

The number of women with diabetes in pregnancy is increasing. Diabetes causes problems for both the pregnant mother and her child.

Diabetes mellitus is presented in two basic forms, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It is characterized by metabolic abnormalities and high blood glucose levels that cause serious complications for patients.

Gestational diabetes is a separate disease that nevertheless shares common features with type 2 diabetes such as insulin resistance.

Gestational diabetes is manifested in a woman who did not have diabetes before pregnancy.

The increase in body weight and the hormonal changes observed in the pregnant woman contribute to gestational diabetes or the aggravation of pre-existing diabetes. Gestational diabetes is estimated to occur in 5% of women who are pregnant.

Pregnant women who do not properly control their diabetes are at serious risk. These include the risks for the child and for mother:

  • Macrosomia: The newborn child is larger and has a body weight outside the normal range increasing the risk for delivery complications such as shoulder dystocia.

  • Hypoglycemia of the newborn: The newborn has low blood glucose levels in the blood, which can lead to serious complications.

  • Congenital malformations

  • Larger risk for respiratory problems and jaundice in the newborn.

  • Increased riks for birth with cesarean section.

  • Increased risk for stillbirth or miscarriage.

  • Hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease, nerve disease, eye diseases (diabetic retinopathy) and blindness: the above problems arise when diabetes is neglected.

Proper control and regulation of diabetes before and during pregnancy effectively help prevent risks that threaten the pregnant mother with diabetes and her child.

In most cases, diabetes in pregnancy can be adjusted with proper nutrition and regular mild exercise according to the doctor’s instructions. However, in some cases maintenance of blood glucose at desirable levels requires insulin administration.

Usually gestational diabetes goes away after delivery. However, many women, about 50% who have had gestational diabetes, later present in their life type 2 diabetes mellitus.

It is noted that children whose mother had gestational diabetes are more likely to develop obesity, abnormalities in glucose tolerance and diabetes. For these reasons, it is necessary to educate and implement prevention measures against diabetes and obesity.

Women with pre-existing diabetes should be prepared properly with the help of their doctor and plan their pregnancy.