In diabetes, your blood glucose levels are too high; when you are pregnant this is not a good thing. It is estimated that gestational diabetes in pregnancy occurs in about 18% of pregnancies. Gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born, but both you and your baby have a high risk of developing diabetes later on in your lives (, 2011).


What is Gestational Diabetes in Pregnancy?


Gestational diabetes is diabetes that happens for the first time when a woman is pregnant. Though it is unknown what exactly causes it, it is known that hormones from the mother’s placenta help the baby to develop. Some of these hormones are blocked by the mother’s insulin in her body. However, gestational diabetes occurs when there is not enough insulin in her body. Without enough insulin the glucose cannot leave the body and be changed to energy.

Though mothers with gestational diabetes do not have as many problems as mothers who had diabetes before pregnancy, there still are some serious risks. Diabetes in pregnancy causes higher glucose levels, so the baby makes more insulin to rid itself of the extra sugar in the blood. The sugar that is not used is turned into fat. This is why mothers with diabetes tend have big babies. The can cause injury of the baby during birth. Babies may also have low glucose levels at birth, which raises the risk of breathing problems. In addition, babies have more of a risk for being obese later on.


Symptoms of Diabetes in Pregnancy


Usually, a woman does not find out that she has gestational diabetes in pregnancy until she is tested by her doctor. There are signs of diabetes in pregnancy beforehand, though they may go unnoticed. So, what are the symptoms of diabetes in pregnancy?

Diabetes in pregnancy symptoms include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Need to urinate frequently
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased hunger, particularly after meals
  • Blurry Visions
  • Frequent infections, especially of the bladder, vagina, and skin


If you have ever been pregnant, before you can see why these symptoms of diabetes in pregnancy are usually overlooked. Many of these diabetes symptoms in pregnancy are the same as the usual symptoms of a normal pregnancy. However, keep them in mind and if you have any of them, it does not hurt anything to have your doctor test you. If you know than you will be able to keep your baby safe by beginning, a recommended, diabetes in pregnancy diet.


Type 1 Diabetes in Pregnancy


Some people already have diabetes mellitus in pregnancy. Pregnancy in diabetes is usually okay, if the mother takes care of herself and her baby by managing her blood sugar levels well. Maintaining them within the first three months of pregnancy is the most critical. With glucose levels at a normal level, your risk is really no different than any other pregnant woman.

There are risks however, and a mature mother with type 1 diabetes in pregnancy will plan their pregnancy with their doctor beforehand. It is recommended that a pregnancy not begin until 3 monthly average BGLs (HbA1c) are within close range of people without diabetes. Unplanned or poorly managed type 1 diabetes during pregnancy may cause malformations, especially in the heart and kidneys of the baby. The mother is at risk to complications too.


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