Studies Show Gestational Diabetes Risk Increases with Every Pregnancy

Newborn

Newborn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People often say that each pregnancy is different. What you may experience during your first pregnancy may not be the same as your experiences in your subsequent pregnancies. However, a recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that women with gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy have higher risks of developing the same condition in their subsequent pregnancies. In fact, according to this study, the risk increases with each pregnancy.

In the research, 65,132 first-time pregnant women with gestational diabetes were used as the sample population by a group of researchers led by Dr. Darius Getahun. One of the findings was that the risk of these women getting gestational diabetes during their second pregnancy is 13.2% increased. There is also an increase of 6.3% in the third pregnancy of women who initially had gestational diabetes but did not suffer from the condition during their second pregnancies. Those who have experienced gestational diabetes during the first and second pregnancies had a 26% risk for developing the same condition during the third pregnancy. Getahun was quick to point out that having gestational diabetes during the first pregnancy already means that the woman will likely also have the same condition in her second pregnancy.

Aside from the aforementioned risks, women with gestational diabetes are also at risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. That is why it is highly recommended by the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology for women with gestational diabetes to undergo counseling when it comes to lifestyle modifications, like diet, exercise, and weight loss or maintenance.

One of the limitations of the study was that the researchers did not look into other lifestyle factors that may have had contributed to a woman’s increased risk on gestational diabetes. They did not consider that the obesity of a woman can actually contribute in increasing the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Instead, the researchers recommend that early identification of pregnant women who are at risk for developing gestational diabetes and timely postpartum care should be exercised so as to prevent gestational diabetes and other adverse pregnancy situations from happening.

The study also showed that a person’s race or ethnicity may play a role in the return of gestational diabetes. According to the survey in the said study, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific islander women had the highest risk of developing gestational diabetes among other races. This can be due to the fact that the food in these races contains a high glycemic index, which means that they easily affect the levels of glucose in the bloodstream, thus causing sudden spikes.

According to Dr. Manju Monga of the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston, the findings in the aforementioned study reflect consistency in the results of more recent studies as of late.

As a recommendation, Dr. Monga further advises women with gestational diabetes to have themselves screened for type 2 diabetes after six months of giving birth. This will give them a head start on modifying their lifestyle to avoid developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.

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Will I Still Have Gestational Diabetes After The Baby Is Born?

Will I Still Have Gestational Diabetes After The Baby Is Born?

Gestational Diabetes is not forever, just while you are pregnant.baby girl on chest

Yes, I did say that you will no longer have gestational diabetes once you give birth.  Because you are no longer pregnant.  And your hormones that were once raging through your body are suddenly gone.

So, not only do you lose the moodiness and any sort of full night’s sleep, you also lose the hormones your placenta is pumping out and giving your body such a hard time with.  You can finally eat cake and not have to worry about gestational diabetes.  Well, that is somewhat true.

Here is what happens – once you give birth, your placenta also comes out.  Your placenta is responsible for feeding the baby and making sure the environment in your womb is appropriate for your baby to survive.  So, it pumps out some hormones, like HCG, which keep your pregnancy going.  These hormones are also responsible for throwing your insulin system out of whack and causing you to have gestational diabetes.

When you give birth, a lot of changes happen.  You will be tested for several meals, possibly several days, to see if you are still having problems with your blood sugars.  To make sure that your body is recovering well from the shock of the birth and any other disruptions.  For most women, the gestational diabetes does go away and a regular diet results.  You are free to have your cake and eat it too!

Women sometimes do continue to have problems with their blood sugar after the birth, so it can happen.  You will have to continue on a diabetic diet and be evaluated further for your condition.  When this happens, it is usually that you had diabetes before you got pregnant and it was undiagnosed.  So you technically had it prior to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  And you will continue to have it – and possibly continue to need medication and other interventions to improve your health and well being.  After all, you have a lovely child to care for now!

You should also be aware that women who have gestational diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years after the birth of the child.  So, it’s in your best interest to maintain a diet similar to the gestational diabetes diet you started.  That will keep your blood sugars normal and under control.

If you need help with your gestational diabetes meal plan, check out our gestational diabetes meal planning kit in print at : http://www.gestationaldiabeticdiethq.com/amazon-gdm

 

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines: 3 Tips To Get Started Right!

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines: 3 Tips To Get Started Right!

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines Are A Good Place To Start

Gestational diabetes is a condition that sometimes arises during pregnancy as a result of high blood glucose levels. During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur which are normal and usually not a problem. However, in certain cases these higher hormonal levels interfere with the body’s ability to manage glucose. This results in insulin resistance that can cause problems like excessive weight gain and the possibility of premature delivery.

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines To Control Your Blood Sugars

Doctors use gestational diabetes guidelines when testing and throughout the pregnancy to get the best possible outcomes for both you and your baby.  Although glucose levels return to normal levels following childbirth, the risk remains higher for women who had gestational diabetes that they will develop diabetes later on in their life. Therefore it is important to prevent or control gestational diabetes whenever possible. Fortunately there are things to be done to help control the condition, and here are some of the basics.

Staying Hydrated

Doctors know that according to the gestational diabetes guidelines, the effects of gestational diabetes are made worse by dehydration. Therefore you should make an effort to drink enough liquids. Be sure to have at least one glass of something to drink with every meal and at other convenient times for a total of at least 64 ounces per day. It’s important to drink non-caloric fluids, and mostly water to help with gestational diabetes.  You should not add extra calories and sugar by drinking juice, and avoid drinking any juice at breakfast.  Gestational diabetes guidelines recommend that you drink to keep your body healthy. Also do not drink more than two cups of coffee or three cups of tea per day.

Eat Healthy

One of the best ways of controlling gestational diabetes is through diet. Not the kind of weight losing diet you might adapt to lose unwanted pounds when you are not pregnant, but the kind of healthy eating that ensures that you have the proper nutrition for you and your unborn child. That means balancing carbohydrates, eating more fiber, and consuming less sugar and fat.  Gestational diabetes guidelines recommend that you eat whole grains and more whole fruit and vegetables, and less processed foods.  Watching what you eat and add to food, like gravies or sweets makes a difference in your blood sugar levels.  Some women find that eating and then taking a short walk will make a difference in their blood sugar levels for the day.  Either way, a healthy diet meal plan can make a difficult task into an easy accomplishment.

Meeting Your Dietary Needs

Eating a diet that meets all of your nutritional needs when pregnant can sometimes be a complicated undertaking even under normal circumstances. But when the pregnancy is further complicated by gestational diabetes, it can be even more difficult to make certain you are eating right. Therefore it is usually best to seek outside guidance to determine what you should eat in order to lessen the imp[act of gestational diabetes or to lessen its symptoms. Your doctor can help you with this and there are reputable suppliers of products specifically geared to the needs of women who are concerned about gestational diabetes. It is wise to look into these services early in your pregnancy before problems develop, so talk to your doctor today about how you can establish a dietary regimen that is effective for controlling gestational diabetes.  You can find a set of gestational diabetes meal plans made to get you started off on the right foot at this website – click here to learn more!

Management Of Gestational Diabetes: Steps To Take

Management Of Gestational Diabetes: Steps To Take

Management of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, which is glucose intolerance during pregnancy, can also be described as high blood sugar. Most cases of gestational diabetes presents itself at the halfway point of a woman’s pregnancy. Once this glucose intolerance is detected, a treatment to keep your blood sugar levels normal begins. Although gestational diabetes should not be taken lightly, it can be controlled.

Manage Your Gestational Diabetes With A Balanced Diet

Expectant mothers with gestational diabetes have to remain on a balanced diet throughout their pregnancy. Many are recommended to a dietitian that will create a healthy balanced diet to follow. There are also meal plans available that are specifically for those with this condition. If you need management of gestational diabetes, you will be advised to limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed in order to control blood sugar along with keeping track of what you eat. Although a diet is not ideal when pregnant, it has to be done in order to keep both mother and baby in good health. Maintaining a healthy diet can help you avoid having to take daily insulin shots to control blood sugar levels.

Get Regular Checkups

Having gestational diabetes means that in order to manage it properly, you have to visit your doctor on a regular basis. During your regular visits, your doctor will check your blood pressure, blood sugar level and take a urine sample. During these visits, you will also discuss your test results along with your diet and exercise plan. In addition, you will learn how to check your blood sugar levels at home to ensure that they are within normal limits.  Your doctor will want to make sure that you are eating right and keeping your overall blood sugars down to keep them under control.

Exercise Regularly To Manage Your Diabetes

Those with gestational diabetes should take part in moderate exercise for at least two hours per week, after getting approval of your doctor. Regular exercise combined with the right meal plan can help your body use insulin more effectively. This will help control your blood sugar level and help you maintain a healthy pregnancy weight.

Management Of Gestational Diabetes During Labor and After Delivery

While in labor, those with gestational diabetes will be monitored closely. Blood sugar will be checked every hour and you may be given insulin through an IV. Your baby’s heart rate and movement will also be watched closely. After delivery, monitoring still continues but your blood sugar should return to normal quickly. Doctors must also make sure that your baby has a regular blood sugar level and may have to be given sugar water or other nutrition to keep from getting a low blood sugar.

Overall, with the help of a great meal plan, exercise and regular doctor’s visits managing gestational diabetes becomes less of a challenge. Small changes can greatly improve the health of mother and baby and ensure that the pregnancy goes smoothly.  Learn more about a gestational diabetes meal plan to manage your condition at our informational page – click here to learn more!

Diet for Gestational Diabetes: Where Do I Start?

Diet for Gestational Diabetes: Where Do I Start?

Diet for Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is brought on when a woman becomes pregnant; this process occurs due to the hormone changes within the body because of the placenta. During pregnancy, the placenta delivers nutrients to the uterus so that the fetus may develop. However, as the hormone levels in a woman’s body changes, their body may not be able to efficiently manage the glucose levels.

Although these changes are occurring, a woman’s pancreas will naturally produce more insulin to offset the indifference. It is when a woman’s pancreas is not able to produce more insulin that glucose levels within the body rise, which leads to gestational diabetes. However, there are some dietary techniques including meal plans one may employ to help manage their gestational diabetes condition.

Dietary Techniques

One may follow some basic dietary techniques in conjunction with choosing appropriate foods to help manage their gestational diabetes. It is beneficial for one to eat three small meals a day at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, it is also healthy to have two healthy snacks in-between meals throughout the day. It is important to not skip any of the meals or snacks because this helps to maintain insulin levels. When an individual is choosing foods to eat, it is wise to opt for fiber-rich, high-carbohydrate foods that will help to maintain glucose levels as well. However, during morning hours, it is not advisable to consume carbohydrate-rich foods as insulin levels are peaked at this time.

Foods & Drink

It is important for one to choose healthy foods and drinks to consume to help keep their gestational diabetes condition managed. Among choosing healthy foods, one should drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. Healthy food choices include: four servings of dairy foods, or 1200 mg of calcium/day, three servings of iron-rich foods such as rice, eggs or leafy-green vegetables. It is also beneficial for one to consume one food source containing vitamin C per day; this can be an orange, green bell pepper, kiwi, papaya or even a serving of brussel sprouts. Lastly, it also beneficial for one to consume one food source per day that is rich in vitamin A; this can include butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots.

Other Tips

Final tips for one to try are to refrain from foods that are high in sugar, or fat as well as to avoid caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco. Drinking caffeine, alcohol or consuming tobacco products all can aggravate gestational diabetes as well as cause birth defects.

Following these dietary techniques and using a gestational diabetes meal plan will allow a woman to manage her gestational diabetes and keep it in control so that it does not ultimately affect their baby. Typically once the child has been delivered, a woman’s glucose levels will return to normal thus reversing the gestational diabetes condition.

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms – How Do I Know If I Am Going To Have GDM?

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Are Hard To Spot!

Pregnant woman at a WIC clinic in Virginia (ve...

Pregnant woman at a WIC clinic in Virginia (vertically mirrored image). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may be wondering whether you can tell if you are going to get gestational diabetes, and you want to know so you can get started on trying to manage it.  That is important, and I completely understand why you want to know what the general gestational diabetes symptoms are so you can prepare.  Isn’t that how we are as moms, busy and yet prepared?  We know it may be a problem – anywhere from 5 – 15% of women develop gestational diabetes, and it’s something we want to avoid.  But even if we can’t avoid it, we are going to do what we can to get ready and understand what is coming.

But, you may not realize that gestational diabetes symptoms are very similar to what you normally feel during pregnancy.  The symptoms of diabetes are things like increased thirst and increased urination.  What pregnant woman is not a little more thirsty, and feeling like she needs to urinate a little more often?  As the baby grows larger, and sits on your bladder, increased urination becomes a fact of life, especially at night.  I sometimes think that the last 3 months of pregnancy when you can barely sleep the whole night through is just a preparation for the birth.  Another symptom of diabetes in general is that you may have increased hunger or weight loss.  I don’t suppose that accounts for cravings, but you typically do have increased hunger while you’re pregnant.  As you can see, gestational diabetes symptoms are a normal part of pregnancy.

Because there are no specific gestational diabetes symptoms, your Doctor will test you between weeks 24 and 28.

Because there are a large percentage of women, ( about one in 10) who develop gestational diabetes, it is fairly routine for your Dr. to check you during that time to make sure that you haven’t developed the disease.  Gestational diabetes is not necessarily a huge risk to a mom, but it does tend to cause a lot of problems for the baby if not controlled.  I know it may be disheartening to learn that you can’t really avoid gestational diabetes, and that there really are no gestational diabetes symptoms, but the thing that you can do is to control your intake and your blood sugars while you’re pregnant.

Aside from gestational diabetes symptoms, there are some risk factors that put you at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.  If you have a family history of diabetes or you have had a previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes, your risk is higher and your Dr. may check you earlier in your pregnancy to determine if you have developed the disease.  Some other risk factors include:

  • being over the age of 25 when you have your 1st pregnancy
  • family history of diabetes
  • having had a baby that was over 9 pounds at birth
  • having sugar in your urine at a doctor’s visit during pregnancy
  • high blood pressure
  • being overweight at the onset of pregnancy

So aside from the gestational diabetes symptoms, these risk factors mean your Dr. may check you earlier during pregnancy.  If a doctor is going to check you earlier, they usually do the glucose tolerance test around week 14.  While that’s not set in stone, that is the general guideline.

Now that you learned a little more about what gestational diabetes symptoms are, if you’re interested in learning more about gestational diabetes, please sign up for our e-mail list by filling in the form below.

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Pregnancy Induced Diabetes: Your Questions Answered

We’ve gathered some of the most common questions asked about pregnancy induced diabetes, and brought them together to provide you with some answers.

Gestational diabetes is defined as diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy and was not present prior to pregnancy.  Sometimes people call it pregnancy induced diabetes.  Because you have the condition only while you’re pregnant.  And once you deliver the baby and the placenta, typically you can return to normal eating pattern.  Today I’m going to review some questions and provide answers for the most commonly asked items related to pregnancy induced diabetes.

How Common Is Pregnancy Induced Diabetes?

Nationally, between 1 to 2 women in 10, develop gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.  The guidelines are somewhat stricter for the development of the disease because of the fact that you’re pregnant and they want to take extra caution caring for your baby.  Even though it is fairly common, it’s not clear what women can do to prevent developing pregnancy induced diabetes.

What Are the Causes of Gestational Diabetes?

As you may be aware of, when you’re pregnant your hormones in your body do all kinds of things to your emotions, physical body amongst other things.  Hormones are the root cause of development of pregnancy induced diabetes as well.  As your pregnancy progresses, insulin sensitivity decreases.  Women who are overweight when they get pregnant may already have pre-diabetes and their body can’t manage the changes in insulin sensitivity.  Insulin resistance is also increased because of placental hormones.  Some of these hormones are cortisol, estrogen, and progesterone.  As the baby develops your placenta gets larger and also secretes more hormones.  This further causes insulin sensitivity to decrease.  So as your pregnancy progresses, if your body can’t make enough insulin to adjust to the amount that your body needs, you develop gestational diabetes.  This is also why they tend to test for gestational diabetes during the 24th through 28th week, because by that point it will have developed enough to show in a blood test.

How Does My Doctor Screen and Diagnose Pregnancy Induced Diabetes?

Your obstetrician initially determines your risk level for developing pregnancy induced diabetes and that helps them to determine when to test you.  If the determination is made to give you the initial test, for screening women are typically given 50 g of sugar.  This is called an oral glucose challenge because you drink a sugary sweet liquid.  Blood is drawn at 1 hour, and tested.  Typically, your physician will consider you for further testing if your 1 hour glucose challenge lab result is over 130 mg/dL.  If you fail the one hour glucose challenge test, your doctor will require you to do a 3 hour oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT].  In this testing, women are given 100 g of glucose and their blood is taken every hour for 3 hours.  Your doctor will determine the thresholds and how to diagnose.  Even if your blood sugar seems just a little bit elevated you should consider following a gestational diabetes diet plan to keep from having a larger baby or gaining too much weight.

Even if you have pregnancy induced diabetes, it’s important to realize that it’s easily managed using a meal pattern, exercise, and sometimes medication.  Most women view it as something that they have to tolerate for the duration of the pregnancy knowing that after the placenta is delivered, the condition typically goes away.  Click here now to learn more about our gestational diabetes meal plan and get an e-book that tells you even more about diabetes during pregnancy and how you can manage it.