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Diabetes FAQ » Diabetes Articles » Which diabetes are pregnant women susceptible to and how does it affect mother and child?

Which diabetes are pregnant women susceptible to and how does it affect mother and child?

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The type of diabetes that pregnant woman develop during pregnancy is know as gestational diabetes and is diagnosed most times when a woman who has never had a history of diabetes develops high blood sugar levels. Gestational pregnancy often has few symptoms and is only discovered by screening or testing for it. This type of diabetes affects between 3 and 10 percent of all pregnancies. A possible cause is thought to be that the various hormones produced during a pregnancy may reduce or interfere with insulin producton or resistance to insulin causing woman to become glucose intolerant. Geatational diabetes increases the risk of mothers delivering larger babies or fetal obesity (known as macrosomia which could lead to difficult or complicated pregnancies, low blood sugars, and jaundice.

An expectant mother who gets tested and is diaganosed with diabetes (gestational) has a far greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus after she gives birth. This diabetes often offers some particular risks and challenges for both mother and child and should be treated keeping in mind both the risks to the mother and unborn child. It is also a disease that could affect future development of the child such as childhood obesity and of course the child is at risk of eventually having type 2 diabetes as well.

This type of diabetes (gestational) actually is defined as “any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy”. There is also a pre-geatational diabetes. An expectant mother could have had a case of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes prior to her pregnancy or it could have become an effect of the hormonal changes in the body preparatory to labor. It is not proven that birth defects are directly related to gestational diabetes. This is because most birth defects originates during a woman’s first trimester and that is normally when it is less likely to develop or if it does it will be less pronounced.

Although this is known as gestational diabetes and can be the cause of the mother having higher blood glucose levels leading to hypoglycemia if undetected and treated. Polyhydramnion or a disease where there is an excess of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac can also be a risk of gestational (type 2) diabetes. There are several risk factors that can increase the odds of a woman developing diabetes including: family diabetes history, past history of gestational diabetes, prediabeties, impaired glucose intolerance or fasting glycemia, age…the risk increases the older the woman is and seriously increases over 35, overweight or obese, previous births of high birth weight, past obstetric history and smoking.

Although most women do not have any symptoms and it is only discovered through testing some do experience type 2 symptoms such as increased thirst, frequent urination need, nausea, bladder and yeast infections, and vision problems. There are actually two types of gestational diabetes which begin during pregnancy one is Class A1 which is controlled mainly by diet and the other Class A2 is controlled by insulin.

One of the diseases that concerns and affect many pregnant women is the chance of getting diabetes or gestational diabetes while they are pregnant. Two of the more serious risks that this poses for the baby are growth abnormalities and possible chemical imbalances after the child is born. Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes are at greater risk of being either large for gestational age or small for gestational age. This may cause extra concern for it may increase the need for instrument deliveries such as forceps, ventouse or caesarean section.

With Christmas approaching I wonder what are some good diabetic treats that can either be made or purchased for holiday functions?

As a diabetic I found the SPLENDA site on line and it not only has different recipes for diet planning substituting sweeteners in lieu of sugar but also conversion charts and a wide variety of other recipes including sweets and snacks. My favorite, and what is Christmas without them, is sugar cookies and their recipe is simple and easy to follow.

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