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Diabetes and Pregnancy


Diabetes and Pregnancy ó Why Does it Happen?

When pregnant some women develop what is called gestational diabetes and they experience high blood sugar levels. Most of the time it goes away after giving birth, however once a woman has had gestational diabetes she is more likely to develop it again in subsequent pregnancies. Generally, women with gestational diabetes are able to control it with diet and exercise, however if this is not enough then insulin shots might be necessary to regulate the blood sugar. It is very important for woman with gestational diabetes to try and keep their blood sugar normal because if they do not it can have adverse effects on their health and the health of their baby.

How Does it Occur?

Women who develop gestational diabetes generally want to know how it occurs and what they can do to prevent it from occurring. However, there is no clear reason why gestational diabetes in pregnancy occurs, although doctors believe there are some clues available.

Basically, the placenta is what supports the baby throughout the pregnancy as it grows and the placenta also has hormones to aid in babyís development. However, many times the hormones the placenta emits causes the motherís body to block the insulin it is creating. When this happens doctors call it insulin resistance. Women who experience gestational diabetes do so because their bodies have a hard time processing the insulin and may need up to three times the usual amount. When the motherís body cannot make enough insulin for the body then gestational diabetes starts. Once a woman has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes she needs to be concerned with maintaining normal blood sugar levels to ensure here health and the health of her baby.

Gestational diabetes generally occurs later in pregnancy. Because the babyís body is already formed at this point gestational diabetes does not cause birth defects, however it can still harm your baby. The reason is because in late pregnancy the baby is growing rapidly and the more insulin the motherís body produces results in higher glucose levels in the babyís body. Then, the baby produces more insulin to regulate the blood sugar, but all of this energy is not necessary for the growing baby. So, this results in the baby putting on a lot of fat. This can result in problems with delivery, a baby with potential health risks, a child with the potential to become obese, and an adult that may develop diabetes. As a result, if you are pregnant and have gestational diabetes you need to be very cautious to ensure your health and your babyís long term health.

Your doctor will check your blood at your regular appointments, so if you have high blood sugar the doctor will catch it immediately and teach you how to regulate your blood sugar through diet and exercise. Of course, if this doesnít work, you may need to take insulin shots until you give birth in order to regulate your blood sugar.

For more information on effects of diabetes on pregnancy, have a look at pregnancy and diabetes. [an error occurred while processing this directive]