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Pregnancy and Diabetes

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There are two types of diabetes that need to be considered by women who are, or are planning to become, pregnant: 1.
Diabetes that pre-exists a pregnancy.
and 2.
Diabetes that developes during her pregnancy, which is commonly referred to as "gestational diabetes".
Diabetics - those with pre-existing diabetes or those who develop gestational diabetes - often deliver larger babies.
This is a result of the additional sugar, being produced by the mother, being passed through the umbilical cord into the blood stream of the baby where insulin then converts it into fat.
Pre-existing Diabetes As long as diabetes is properly controlled there is no reason why a woman with diabetes can not have an uncomplicated pregnancy.
It is when the diabetes is not controlled that problems and complications occur.
Complications can lead to problems with the pregnancy, including, miscarriage, premature delivery and stillbirth and can also lead to the women developing high blood pressure.
It is strongly advised that diabetic women begin taking folic acid both before and after conception so as to avoid the baby developing birth defects.
Folic acid should be taken all women who are pregnant, and is often included with gestational vitamins prescribed by doctors.
Oral medications that are used to control type 2 diabetes are not approved for use during pregnancy so any woman who is using these drugs will need to switch to insulin before conceiving and during her pregnancy.
Gestational Diabetes Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy.
Changing hormones and weight gain makes it hard for the body to keep up with the need of insulin.
In the past, it has been viewed as a disease that wasn't damaging and usually disappeared after the birth of the baby.
However, now it is considered a warning sign for both the mother and the baby of metabolic changes that may affect them for life.
Why does gestational diabetes occur? The placenta produces a hormone that goes against the affect of insulin on blood sugar.
Women who have a history of diabetes in the family are also more sensitive to this hormone.
Mothers who have experienced gestational diabetes should research and be aware of what the symptoms of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are and be aware of the steps to take to avoid or delay this disease.
About 200,000 women develop gestational diabetes each year in the United States.
The statistics are that five to ten percent of women will continue with Type 2 diabetes after the birth of the baby.
Twenty to fifty percent may develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Children of mothers with gestational diabetes are more at risk for obesity and developing diabetes as teens or adults.
Studies show that it is possible to reduce the risks by watching their diet.
In fact, women who went on to control their weight, increase their exercise, and watch their diet and as a result had a 58 percent decrease in their risk for developing diabetes.
Women in the 26-28 weeks of pregnancy are routinely checked for blood glucose levels.
If a woman does develop gestational diabetes and it is not treated or controlled it may lead to difficulties and problems including, delayed maturity level, stillbirth, and poor placenta function.
Women who are already overweight when becoming pregnant, or had gestational diabetes during a previous pregnancy, have a greater chance of developing gestational diabetes.
Other potential risk causes come from race, nationality, and cultural differences.
Some of these causes could be related to economic differences and the difference in diets.
The women found to be at a higher risk are American Indians, Asian Americans, African-Americans, Pacific islanders, and Hispanics.
If you are pregnant your diet is important as is exercise, both for your health and the health of your baby.
Drinking plenty of water, with a diet high in fiber and low fats are necessary for a healthy diet.
Refined sugar should be cut out if possible, if not, cut out as much as possible.
Watch your fat intake also.
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and low fat proteins.
Also don't forget to be taking a pre-natal vitamin.
If you are already exercising when you become pregnant, it is important you remain active within the limits of what your body and doctor allow.
Low impact exercising, yoga, or water aerobics are choices for those women who are not on a regular exercise program.
Also those women who do develop gestational diabetes have a much greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
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