Gestational diabetes: What it is and what it means during and after pregnancy

Changes in the body can make insulin less efficient. It’s called insulin resistance. In this case, not enough sugar reaches the cells and stays in the blood too much. When it occurs during pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes. It can affect 2-10% of all pregnancies.

Why Gestational Diabetes Matters

Gestational diabetes is associated with high blood pressure during pregnancy and can further complicate pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes can also affect your baby, increasing your risk of:

• Baby can grow very large. This can make childbirth more difficult and may require a caesarean section.
your baby

premature birthcan cause its own complications.
Your baby may have and/or develop hypoglycemia

type 2 diabetes

in later years.

For all these reasons, it’s important to do what you can to reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes. Your doctor should be able to manage it.

Gestational diabetes is a health equity issue

Gestational diabetes can occur in anyone who is pregnant, but it is more likely to occur in African, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander women over the age of 25. .

There are many possible reasons for these differences. But they are clearly part of a much larger pattern of racial and ethnic health inequalities in general and maternal health in particular. information must be obtained.

Gestational diabetes can happen to anyone, but like I said, it’s more common among blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, or Asian Americans. more likely to occur.

being overweight or obese
not moving
Pre-diabetes; gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy; or a close relative with diabetes
• • have previously given birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
• be 25 years of age or older;
• Born outside the United States

If you have any of these risk factors, it’s important to discuss your risk of gestational diabetes with your doctor.

How to reduce your risk of getting gestational diabetes

There is no way to completely prevent gestational diabetes, but lifestyle changes can reduce your chances of developing gestational diabetes.

Try to keep your daily carbs within a healthy range.
eat one

high fiber diet

It’s high in whole grains, green vegetables, nuts, and beans to help prevent blood sugar spikes.
• Exercise regularlyHelps lower blood sugar levels. Resistance training is a good approach. (Consult your doctor before starting a new fitness regimen.)
• sleep soundlyThere is evidence that not getting enough sleep increases the risk of diabetes.

How do you know if you have gestational diabetes?

There are some warning signs you may notice if you have gestational diabetes.

unusually thirsty
more tired than usual

However, many pregnant women have these symptoms even if they don’t have gestational diabetes.And not all pregnant women with gestational diabetes have them. It can be clarified by performing a blood sugar test between the eyes. This is part of regular prenatal screening. If the test shows that her blood sugar is too high, she should also undergo a three-hour diagnostic test to confirm whether she has gestational diabetes.

when I realized it Any If you have any sudden changes in your physical condition during pregnancy, be sure to consult your doctor. It may be perfectly normal…or it may be a warning sign that there is a problem. And it’s much better to discover the problem sooner or later.

What if I have gestational diabetes?

If your doctor tells you that you have gestational diabetes, don’t panic. However, work with your doctor to get it under control.

Doctors usually recommend changing your diet and increasing your physical activity. In other words, the same things that help prevent gestational diabetes also help prevent it from harming the health of you and your baby.

Your doctor may also recommend daily blood sugar tests and insulin injections. Both are completely safe for pregnancy and help keep blood sugar levels from getting out of control.

Once your baby is born, breastfeeding can help reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.

Independence Blue Cross (IBX) can help

IBX is committed to supporting pregnant members. (Otherwise as well!) We highly recommend taking advantage of IBX’s free Baby BluePrints® Maternity Program. It provides personal support during pregnancy and after childbirth. A nurse specializing in pregnancy-related care is available to her 24/7 by phone. They can help you with any questions or complications you may have.

IBX is also working with Cayaba Care and to help pregnant women who may struggle to access quality care due to racial and ethnic health inequalities. I’m here.

For members who need to get their blood sugar tested, IBX offers advanced blood glucose meters, unlimited test strips and lancets, real-time support for out-of-range readings, personalized tips, action plans, and coaching with Livongo. Offers.

So use the best service to take care of yourself.

Personally, I wish you a safe and healthy pregnancy, birth and parenting.

This content was originally published

IBX Insight.

About Dr. Seun Ross, DNP, CRNP-F, NP-C

Dr. Seun Ross is the Executive Director of Health Equity for Quality Management at Independence Blue Cross. Dr. Ross holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Nursing from Coppin State University and a PhD in Nursing Practice with a focus on organizational leadership from Chatham University. In her clinical practice as a home nurse, she has focused on achieving collective health. She is a passionate advocate for health equity and is committed to achieving health justice for all vulnerable people.

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