Gestational diabetes is a condition women experience at the latter part of their pregnancy. If you have gestational diabetes, there is a high blood concentration of glucose in your body that may lead to further complications for your health, and your baby’s when left untreated.
Worldwide, about one in five pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes. But studies show that Asian women are more susceptible to developing this common condition. In Singapore, 13.8% of women experience this type of diabetes during pregnancy, leading to more risks.
Risks of getting Gestational Diabetes during Pregnancy
Having gestational diabetes can lead to problems that not only affect you, but your unborn child’s as well. To give you a better idea, here are some of the major risks involved when you have increased blood sugar levels in your body during pregnancy:
High Blood Pressure
When you have gestational diabetes, you might develop a condition known as preeclampsia that includes having protein in your urine, high blood pressure, and swelling fingers and toes. When this condition is not managed properly, it can lead to premature delivery. Alternatively, it can cause stroke or seizures during your labour and delivery, leading to brain damage.
A full term usually lasts anywhere between 37 to 40 weeks of pregnancy. However, if the complications caused by gestational diabetes become severe, even the best gynaecologist in Singapore will opt for premature delivery to protect you and your baby. This means your healthcare professional will induce your labour by giving you medicine that breaks your amniotic sac.
Another risk of having gestational diabetes is the possibility of developing a large baby. When you have increased blood sugar levels, the glucose in your blood will pass through the placenta and into the baby’s system. These extra amounts of sugar will be transformed into fat in the baby’s body, causing the unborn child to grow larger than usual.
Large birth weight often leads to further complications and birth effects, including breathing difficulty, bone fractures, and nerve damage.
Due to the immense size of the baby, the baby may not fit through the mother’s birth canal. In this case, gynaecologists need to deliver the baby through C-section. When the baby is birthed through C-section, it might result in a longer recovery period for the mother.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome for the baby
Because of the increased sugar levels passing through their system, the babies do not receive enough surfactant–a protein that protects their lungs from collapsing–in their lungs while in their mother’s womb. Babies born from mothers with gestational diabetes are also prone to developing breathing problems, such as respiratory distress syndrome.
Proven Ways to Lower the Risk of Developing Gestational Diabetes
Now that you are aware of the major risks involved with gestational diabetes, you need to make extra effort to care for yourself and your baby’s health. By following these steps, you can have a healthy pregnancy and reduce your chances of developing gestational diabetes:
Cut down on sugar and processed foods
The best way to lower your blood sugar levels is to lower your consumption of sugary treats and processed food. Additionally, you should also avoid eating food high in carbohydrates, such as white rice and bread.
Carbohydrates are converted into glucose once the compound is broken down in your system. Although it can give you the energy you need to power up your day, too much of this will be stored in your body as unwanted fat, which in turn can lead to high blood sugar levels and obesity. So, during your pregnancy, it’s important to eat a well-balanced diet to avoid developing diabetes and other health conditions.
Apart from fixing your diet, you also need to change your lifestyle. Living a healthy and active lifestyle with a regular exercise plan can protect you from gestational diabetes.
For pregnant women, dynamic movements might be difficult to do, so an exercise that’s as simple as walking, swimming, cycling, or yoga can burn excess fat and sugar in your body.
Additionally, it helps to have a weight goal in mind to help you keep track of your progress and remain within the normal range.
To keep your body healthy during pregnancy, you also need to take the necessary supplements to replenish the nutrients in your body. For instance, vitamin D supplements are great at improving your glucose tolerance, and omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to keep your baby healthy. Regardless of the supplements you decide to take, be sure to take a blood test first and consult with the best gynaecologist in your area.
Visit a gynaecologist Singapore
To ensure that you’re not developing gestational diabetes, it’s advisable to visit your gynaecologist as often as possible. Signs of diabetes usually appear between your 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. As such, during this time, make it a priority to have yourself tested by the best gynaecologist in Singapore. In doing so, you can address the issue immediately and avoid the risk of further complications.
Along with the joys of expecting a baby comes a set of complications during pregnancy. Although gestational diabetes is a common problem amongst pregnant women, there are ways to avoid it. By following the steps mentioned above, you can lessen the risk of developing this condition and have a healthier pregnancy.