Gestational diabetes

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

Doctors present diabetes mellitus in two basic forms: type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. It is characterized by metabolic abnormalities and high blood glucose levels. They can 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 appears 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 even the aggravation of pre-existing diabetes. We estimate that gestational diabetes occurs 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. This increases the risk for delivery complications such as shoulder dystocia.

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

  • Congenital malformations.

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

  • Increased risks 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 the woman neglects diabetes.

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, the woman can adjust diabetes in pregnancy 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.

We note 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 prepare themselves properly with the help of their doctor and plan their pregnancy.