Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) affects women when they are pregnant. Recent statistics suggest that approximately one in seven pregnant women are affected.
This occurs in women who did not have diabetes before pregnancy and develop an insulin resistance during pregnancy. The reason for this resistance is because hormones block the mother’s insulin.
GDM does not always show symptoms in pregnant women. It is diagnosed with a standard test in the second trimester.
It can be managed, but it should not be ignored. Most women deliver healthy babies with a gestational diagnosis. However, it should be taken seriously as unmanaged diabetes during pregnancy can result in complications for both mother and baby.
Complications for the baby include:
· Heavy birth weight for babies
· Premature birth and respiratory problems
· Low blood sugar in babies
· Type 2 later in life
Complications for the mother include:
· Preeclampsia, or high blood pressure that is critical for both mom and baby
· The potential for Type 2 later in life
· If you have had gestational diabetes, then there is also a risk that you will have it with future pregnancies.
If you are pregnant, ask your doctor about GDM, the risks, tests, and treatment required.