Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes affects up to 5% of expectant mothers and is marked by blood glucose levels that are higher than they should be. This form of diabetes most often arises around the 24th week of pregnancy and most women will cease to have it after giving birth. Some women can develop diabetes earlier in pregnancy.  A Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) is recommended in all pregnancies at 26 to 28 weeks.  In addition, if you are at increased risk of having gestational diabetes, an early GTT is performed at 12 to 16 weeks.

Obesity is a risk factor for gestational diabetes

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

Some women are more at risk than others of having gestational pregnancy. For example, being over 30 or overweight can increase your chances. If you have a family history of type 2 diabetes (or if you have a personal history of gestational diabetes), your risk is also higher than average. Women of certain ethnic backgrounds (including Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Polynesian, Chinese, Melanesian and Vietnamese) are also more at risk.

The Cause for Gestational Diabetes

When you are pregnant, your placenta creates the necessary hormones to help your baby develop. However, these same hormones can also counteract your regular insulin production. This insulin resistance is what can lead to gestational diabetes.

How to Manage Gestational Diabetes

As with standard diabetes, the key steps to take are:

Healthy eating is importantIn some cases, a medication called Metformin may be prescribed, and sometimes insulin injections may be required.

If you’re concerned about gestational diabetes, our clinic can help put your mind at ease. Book a consultation with us today by calling 1300 464 464. We can answer any questions or concerns you have and help you prevent or manage gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.

Healthy eating during pregnancy is especially important if you have gestational diabetesDr Ken Law is a Brisbane Obstetrician specialising in the management of pregnancy and delivery.  For more information and to discuss your specific situation, please contact Dr Ken Law to arrange a consultation at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

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