Diabetes During Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and usually disappears after the delivery of your baby. In order to understand gestational diabetes, you must first understand what diabetes is all about.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a condition in which the body cannot use glucose (sugar) properly. Normally, most of the food you eat breaks down into glucose that your body uses as energy or fuel. The glucose is carried by the blood to the body’s cells with the help of a hormone called insulin. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, a gland located just behind the stomach. Without the right amount of insulin, the glucose cannot enter the body cells. As a result, glucose rises to abnormally high levels in the blood, which can have serious effects on many parts of the body.
What causes gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes develops when your pancreas is unable to make enough insulin to cover your needs during pregnancy.
The exact cause of gestational diabetes is unknown. Many people believe it occurs because of something they have done wrong, such as eating too many sweets. This is not true. Certain factors tend to
increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes:
If you are 25 years of age or older
If you are overweight
If you have a family history of diabetes
If you have previously delivered a babyweighing nine pounds or more at birth
If you are a member of a high-risk group for having diabetes, including: Latino (Hispanic American), African American, Native American, Asian American, Pacific Islander
Gestational diabetes can be hard to detect because there are usually no symptoms. However, most health care practitioners recommend screening all pregnant women who are at high risk for gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks.
Will I have to take insulin?
In some cases, when modification of the meal plan does not control blood glucose levels, extra insulin is required. Extra insulin is not usually necessary after you give birth.
Will I develop diabetes later in life?
In 98% of all women diagnosed with gestational diabetes, blood glucose levels go back to normal when the baby is born. However, it is important to discuss the risk factors with your doctor and have your blood glucose checked routinely.
Gestational Diabetes Program
Our diabetes clinicians work with you and your doctor to create an individualized care plan that promotes the health of you and your baby. Our staff is available to answer questions and to provide more information at any time during your pregnancy or immediately after you give birth.
Our Gestational Diabetes Program includes:
Nutritional counseling and modification of meal plan
Instruction on home blood glucose monitoring
Insulin instruction, if necessary
In order to maintain blood glucose control and to reduce the risk for developing type 2 diabetes after the delivery of your baby, meal plan counseling and follow up are available.
We're conveniently located at Deaconess Clinic Downtown at 421 Chestnut St., Evansville, IN. Contact us at 812/426-9894 to schedule classes, ask questions about your diabetes care, or get more information about our program and services.