Being pregnant for any woman is a turning point in life as the entire body changes and shifts to make room for the growing baby. Yet many women are dismayed to discover they have acquired gestational diabetes somewhere along the way of their pregnancy. HEALTH presents the facts about this condition…
What it Means
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as carbohy-drate intolerance that begins or is first recognized during pregnancy, explains Specialist Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Shiva Harikrishnan. She adds that in most cases, the diagnosis of GDM is made in the late second or early third trimester.
As many as 40 to 50 percent of women developing GDM will go on to develop overt type 2 diabetes (non-insulin depen-dent diabetes mellitus) during pregnancy. According to Hari-krishnan, for the prevention of GDM, appropriate screening programs have to be adopted. “Universal screening for GDM at 28 to 30 weeks of gestation is an optimum strategy, but it is considered by some to be too expensive,” she says, however, a multidisciplinary approach involving a dietician, diabetic physician, and diabetic nurse is the cornerstone for its successful management.
Some risks that can arise in the baby whose mother had GDM include: risk of preterm labor, being a big baby at birth, traumatic delivery due to macrosomia, congenital anomalies for baby, or unexplained fetal death.
It is advised to include more green leafy vegeta-bles, salads, spinach, fiber, and whole foods. Also, try to avoid excess consump-tion of foods high on the glycemic index scale. This includes rice, potatoes, starchy breads and sweets, especially in women hav-ing high risk for GDM.
OBESITY: BMI of more than 25, weight more than 85 kilos, or excessive weight gain.
AGE: Greater than 35 years.
RECURRENT INFECTIONS: This includes vulvovaginitis and urinary tract infections.
PREVIOUS HISTORY: Of having a big baby.
FAMILY HISTORY: In a first degree relative.