Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancies |

Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancies

About 7% of all pregnancies are complicated by gestational diabetes. Here's what you should know.

Posted on

29 May 2016

Last updated on 19 February 2018
Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancies
7% of all pregnancies are complicated by gestational diabetes, it is defined by abnormal blood sugar that is discovered during or at the onset of pregnancy. 
Patients are tested at 24-28 weeks of gestation or earlier in the first trimester if deemed necessary by the physician. The testing is performed by extracting multiple blood samples to test for sugar levels before and after the intake of glucose solution.

The presence of gestational diabetes increase the risk of fetal and maternal complications mostly if left uncontrolled. Treatment starts by surveillance and multiple daily self-monitoring of blood sugar using a home device.

In addition, all women with gestational diabetes should receive nutritional counseling, by a registered dietitian when possible. Individualization of medical nutrition therapy depending on maternal weight and height is recommended.

Nutritional therapy should include the provision of adequate calories and nutrients to meet the needs of pregnancy and should be consistent with the maternal blood glucose goals that have been established. Noncaloric sweeteners may be used in moderation. Daily moderate exercise for 30 minutes or more is also recommended after physician approval.  

Insulin therapy is the safest and the approved treatment for the management of gestational diabetes, other oral medications can be used in certain situations with close medical supervision. Another test should be performed 6-12 weeks after delivery to detect any residual diabetes.

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By Dr. Sara El Ghandour

Specialist Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Diabetes
Working from home with Cigna

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