Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs in pregnant women who have never been diagnosed with diabetes before but have high blood-sugar levels during pregnancy.
High levels of hormones being produced in the placenta, which connects a mother’s blood stream to the developing baby, impair the action of insulin in a mother’s cells, causing her blood sugar to rise.
“As the baby grows, the placenta produces more hormones that block insulin, which creates a rise in blood-sugar levels that affects the growth and health of the baby,” explains says Dr. Carol Fujiyoshi, a board-certified OB-GYN with Kaua‘i Medical Clinic.
An expectant mother should have her blood-sugar level monitored as part of her prenatal care, as gestational diabetes does not have noticeable symptoms.
According to Fujiyoshi, gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed in the last half of pregnancy, after the baby’s body has been formed.
Women who are at greater risk of gestational diabetes:
“An expectant mother should have her blood-sugar level monitored as part of her prenatal care, as gestational diabetes does not have noticeable symptoms,” Fujiyoshi says.
To keep blood sugar under control, expectant mothers should:
“While gestational diabetes only lasts through pregnancy, mothers who were diagnosed should keep a close eye on their blood sugar even after delivery, as they will be at greater risk of developing diabetes post-pregnancy,” Fujiyoshi says.
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