Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis

A Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis means that you and your baby may be at risk for dangerous complications you want to avoid. While your body needs glucose for energy, too much glucose in your blood can be harmful. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels may not result in obvious symptoms but can increase your risk of high blood pressure and your risk of a large baby.

How a Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis may affect your Baby

Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can mean problems for your baby like:

  • Being born very large, making delivery difficult
  • Low blood glucose right after birth
  • Breathing problems

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes your health care team may recommend extra tests to check on your baby such as:

  • Ultrasound exams to see how big your baby is
  • Kick counts to check your baby’s activity
  • Special “stress” tests

Probably the biggest reason you want to avoid uncontrolled blood sugar levels is that it puts both you and your baby at increased risk for type 2 diabetes for the rest of your lives.

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How Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis may affect you

Often women with a gestational diabetes will have no symptoms. Unfortunately, having uncontrolled blood sugar levels is serious and can increase your risk of having:

  • High blood pressure during pregnancy
  • A cesarean section because your baby is very large
  • Too much amniotic fluid - causing ineffective contractions and increased chance of cord prolapse when the water breaks

Typically gestational diabetes diagnosis does not mean you have diabetes for life. Most of the time it goes away after your baby is born. However, you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes later in life.

Why Should You Care About Gestational Diabetes Diagnosis?

As a natural childbirth advocate, you already know that maintaining your blood sugar levels thru diet and lifestyle modifications is better than taking simply taking insulin. Since uncontrolled blood sugar levels during pregnancy are indicative of developing type 2 diabetes later on, you are better off adopting healthy habits now so that doesn’t happen to you.

If you receive a positive gestational diabetes diagnosis, you will no longer be considered a “low-risk pregnancy”. This means that you will have to be seen by an obstetrician if you plan to deliver in a hospital. There are rules preventing hospital based midwives from serving women with “high-risk” pregnancies. Some birth centers will not take women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. In short, if you plan to deliver naturally, without pain relief medications or interventions, your ability to do so will be drastically reduced.

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For this reason, you may want to take steps to prevent being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, especially if you know your blood sugar levels are within a normal range and but the testing parameters may identify you as having gestational diabetes. At the same time uncontrolled blood sugar fluctuations can cause a host of problems for both you and your baby so all pregnant women should take steps to ensure their blood sugar levels remain steady and avoid doing or eating things that make them spike.

Read Pregnancy Gestational Diabetes Diet or Healthy Pregnancy Diet to find out about what to eat while you are pregnant to ensure stable blood sugar levels. Read Gestational Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels to find out what your blood sugar levels should be as well as how to measure your own blood sugar levels for the benefit of you and your baby.

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For More Information about Gestational Diabetes and how to avoid it

Read Pregnancy Gestational Diabetes Diet for more information about how you can keep your blood sugar levels low by following a good pregnancy diet.

For more information about blood sugar levels read Gestational Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels .

To find out how to best monitor and manage your blood sugar levels while you are pregnant read Management of Gestational Diabetes .

To find out if you may be at risk of gestational diabetes read Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes .

Read Gestational Diabetes Testing for more information about how Gestational Diabetes is diagnosed as well as problems with the current testing.