14th Nov
2017

World Diabetes Day: Gestational diabetes can lead to premature babies

Changing lifestyle and stress are the leading high-risk factors for diabetes during pregnancy. Fluctuation in the blood sugar levels is a big complication during pregnancy, which is the major cause for premature babies. Also, women carrying more than one baby are more likely to develop diabetes as their body is under additional stress during pregnancy. As we know pregnancy causes hormonal shifts, as well as psychological and physical changes leading to stress in a pregnant woman which can make blood sugar go haywire. Dr Vimee Bindra, Gynecologist, Reproductive Endocrinologist & Infertility specialist, Apollo Cradle, Hyderabad explains how gestational diabetes can lead to premature delivery.

When we talk about gestational diabetes and its complications, variation in the blood sugar levels in pregnancy is the major cause of maternal, fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. The fetus has an increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, large for dates baby, cardiac abnormalities and in severe uncontrolled cases may cause intrauterine death. The management of diabetes depends on the woman’s blood sugar level, gestational age, blood flow in the placenta and doppler ultrasound. Here’s more on complications of gestational diabetes nobody tells you about.

Gestational diabetes and premature delivery — how is it treated?

Keeping the safety of both the mother and baby in mind, doctors try to wait and watch before taking a decision, but when things cannot be controlled they will have to take extreme steps because it is their responsibility to save both the mother and the baby. During such situations when a baby is delivered well before time, the baby may need an artificial incubator in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). The newborn may also need respiratory support as the baby may develop severe breathing problem due to the immaturity of lungs. If a preterm delivery is planned, doctors do advice an injection for lung maturity but always this is not the case and sometimes due to emergency reasons unplanned delivery happens and baby may need surfactant for the proper functioning of lungs.

Can it be prevented?

Gestational diabetes starts during pregnancy and ends with pregnancy. Mothers who are identified with gestational diabetes during pregnancy can still have healthy babies, all they need to do is to follow a certain diet and stress-free lifestyle to manage it and in some cases support of medications and insulin. There are some myths and facts like- diabetes during pregnancy can later lead to type 2 diabetes, which may not be true always. Major reasons to develop diabetes during pregnancy are excessive weight gain before pregnancy, PCOS, working odd shifts, stress, unhealthy eating habits and family history of diabetes. Here are 5 simple steps to prevent gestational diabetes.

Source: The Health Site

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