Dr Ken Law
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Gestational Diabetes

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World Diabetes Day took place on Tuesday this week, and there was a resounding urgency to raise further awareness of gestational diabetes which can occur in pregnancy – with one in seven births affected. A large number of women that develop Gestational Diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes in later life. My post below explains gestational diabetes (GDM) in more detail. What is Gestational Diabetes? In a previous post I explained that when a woman is pregnant, her body requires two to three times more insulin than when she is not pregnant. Gestational diabetes occurs when the body is not able to produce this increased insulin, leading to higher glucose levels than normal, as the action of insulin in the body is to reduce glucose levels. During your pregnancy at around 24-28 weeks you will have a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) to ensure your blood glucose levels are not higher than normal. If the glucose levels are abnormal, then it is at this stage that your obstetrician will diagnose gestational diabetes. Problems can arise in the pregnancy if gestational diabetes is not diagnosed and managed properly.  It can lead to problems with the baby’s growth (usually leading to big babies, but sometimes there can also be growth restriction, leading to small babies), and the risk of stillbirth is increased in mismanaged or undiagnosed gestational diabetes. What happens if I am diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes? If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the best way to manage it is with help from your Obstetrician, dietitian and diabetic educator, and your doctor who will provide you with help to manage your gestational diabetes. Daily management Blood glucose level monitoring It is extremely important to monitor the blood glucose levels during pregnancy once gestational diabetes has been diagnosed. This usually involves checking the blood glucose levels 4 times per day – before breakfast, and then two hours after each main meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner). The current targets for blood glucose levels are: Fasting (pre-prandial) <5.1 mmol/L 2 hours after meals (post prandial) <6.8 mmol/L The targets are stricter than the targets used for […]

Do’s And Don’ts in Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, many people will try to give you advice on what to do and what not to do.  Here’s a summary, to keep you on the right track. Things NOT to do in Pregnancy Don’t Touch Kitty Litter Toxoplasma is a parasite that can be transmitted via the cat’s litter It can cross the placenta, and cause lesions in the baby’s brain, and neurological impairment. You don’t have to give your cat away, but it is indeed a good reason to get your partner to handle the kitty litter (for a change!) Don’t Use Electric Blankets Electric blankets can emit a low level electro-magnetic field, that may potentially affect fetal development.  It is therefore best to avoid using electric blankets during pregnancy. Don’t do High impact exercise Avoid anything high impact, like horse-riding, fast running, or heavy weight-lifting. During pregnancy, your joints are loosened by pregnancy hormones, and these high impact activities could potentially over-strain your joints. Don’t Drink Alcohol Click here for further information on alcohol use during pregnancy Don’t Eat Sushi Click here for further information on foods to avoid during pregnancy Don’t Smoke Smoking can increase your risk of premature birth, or having a baby with low birth weight or respiratory problems.  After delivery, smoking also increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). There is no safe level of smoking. For help to quit smoking, call the Quit-line on 13 18 48. Things you SHOULD Do in Pregnancy Enjoy the pregnancy! Healthy Exercise Regular healthy exercise during pregnancy is encouraged. There are many things you can do, including: Walking Swimming Low-impact aerobics Pilates Yoga Healthy Eating “Eating for two” is an urban myth.  You only require an additional 800 kilo joules (200 calories) when you are pregnant, whereas the recommended daily requirement for a non-pregnant female is around 10,000 kilo joules.  The body absorbs more nutrients from food when you are pregnant.  Click here for further information on healthy eating during pregnancy, or see Dr Law’s dietitian for specific advice. Sex Sex is fine at any time during pregnancy, except in special circumstances (e.g. […]

Keeping Fit While Pregnant

Great Activities for Soon-to-Be Mums As your pregnancy progresses, it could get more difficult to motivate yourself to exercise. Of course, the exercise itself will become harder too as the weight of your baby increases! Fortunately, there are a number of activities that are well-suited to mums-to-be. Here are a couple you could try if you’re committed to keeping fit while you’re expecting. Swimming As your body gets heavier than usual, exercising in the water – where your body naturally feels lighter – is a great idea. Try a water aerobics group class so you can socialise while staying fit. Walking and Running Even a gentle 30-minute walk can do wonders for your health, though a brisk jog would be ideal. The great thing about walking or running is that it can be done just about anywhere and anytime, making it the perfect option for pregnant women with busy schedules. Pilates and Yoga Pilates and yoga are very popular amongst pregnant women for good reason; either can be a great way for you to work on your flexibility, core strength, and general well-being in a supportive group setting. Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology has a great Pregnancy Strength and Movement Class which is run by an instructor who is experienced in exercises during pregnancy. Find out more details here. Generally, there aren’t too many exercises or sports that can’t be participated in while you’re expecting, so don’t assume your weekly exercise has to stop until your baby arrives. As long as your chosen activity doesn’t pose any risks, such as falling or hitting your baby bump, it should be fine. If your favourite sport is physically strenuous, just aim to take it a little bit easier than usual! Dr Ken Law is a Brisbane Obstetrician specialising in the management of pregnancy and delivery.  The above article is for general information only, and you should consult your obstetrician for specific personal advice.  For more information and to discuss your specific situation, please contact Dr Ken Law to arrange a consultation at Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Staying Social

Pregnant and Popular: Staying Social While Expecting It’s too easy to fall into a negative mindset about pregnancy and feel as if having a baby is all about sacrifices. Fortunately, your social life is absolutely not one of the things you have to give up while expecting. Here are two tips for keeping up with your friends during your pregnancy. Entertain from Home Especially in your third trimester, going out can become an ordeal. When you have the energy and time, you definitely still should. But if travelling and spending time beyond the comfort of home is getting too stressful, consider hosting get-togethers for your friends at home. BYO-platter parties are a particularly good idea; you won’t have to stand for a long time in the kitchen preparing food for everyone. And don’t worry – true friends won’t have any qualms about trading in the café setting for your living room or deck for a month or two. Try Some New Activities Are your friends’ favourite activities a little too strenuous for a pregnant woman? Ask them if they’d like to try something more laid back for a while. And if they don’t? Doesn’t matter! Try something new by yourself and you’ll even have the opportunity to make new friends. For example, if your social calendar typically features intense cycling, swap the bike for a pair of walking shoes for now. If you’re unsure whether a hobby of yours is okay to continue while you’re pregnant, feel free to call us to chat about it or check out one of my previous blog posts which is all about keeping fit during pregnancy. Pregnancy doesn’t mean sacrificing time spent doing things you love. With a few lifestyle adjustments, you can maintain your social life without missing a beat. Dr 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.

Greenslopes Obstetrics and Gynaecology