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Pregnancy Bliss | Reproductive Health Hub

Gestational diabetes

Can diabetes occur for the first time in pregnancy?
Yes. A number of women are found to be diabetic for the first time in their lives while pregnant. Pregnancy has been described as a "diabetogenic condition". This simply means it can trigger the development of diabetes.

Is gestational diabetes (diabetes occurring in pregnancy) different from classical diabetes?
In a few ways, yes. It is, however, important to concentrate on the aspects where it is similar to classical diabetes.
In either type, when the condition is not controlled, it can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby.

So, how do the two differ?
They differ in the sense that the gestational type of diabetes is easier to control and usually clears up soon after delivery.

Is there any association between gestational diabetes and the classical diabetes?
In some cases there is. It is recognized that some women who have the symptoms of gestational diabetes actually have mild diabetes prior to conception and pregnancy helps to unmask the condition. Naturally, with these women, the condition does not completely clear up after delivery.

Are any long-term consequences to be expected?
As mentioned above, some patients have latent diabetes and delivery may just take them back to the quiescent state with no symptoms and no need for treatment. These may constitute anything between 10 and 20 per cent of all gestational diabetes patients. For these, the so-called adult-onset diabetes will develops in the medium or long-term. Conversely, for over 80 per cent of mothers with gestational diabetes, the condition clears up entirely shortly after delivery.

Who is at risk of developing gestational diabetes?
Mothers who:
have symptoms of increased water intake (feeling abnormally thirsty), urinary frequency   and feeling hungry and peckish more often than normal
are overweight or obese
have close relatives with diabetes
have a history of delivering large babies in the past
gain an excessive amount of weight during pregnancy
have a previous history of gestational diabetes
are aged thirty or over.

What do you mean by previous gestational diabetes?
There is a risk of recurrence of gestational diabetes of one in two; that is, up to 50 per cent of affected mothers will experience a recurrence of the condition in a subsequent pregnancy.

Can a prospective mother reduce the risk of getting gestational diabetes?
A woman can reduce this risk by acting upon some factors, such as being overweight. Controlling or reducing the body weight to a level around the ideal for her body height will significantly reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.

Is there anything a mother can do to check whether she might have latent diabetes?
Yes. If a woman has suffered from gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy and she is planning another baby, she can arrange for her doctor to perform a blood screening test for diabetes before she conceives. This will tell her whether she has latent diabetes or not. For a woman who does not have latent diabetes, this test will always be negative.
Gestational diabetes IDDM Delivery Metformin Exercise GTT