According to the experts, gestational diabetes appears in about 2-10% of pregnancies yearly. Both the mother and the fetus may suffer complications from gestational diabetes. Potential outcomes include:
- The woman’s blood pressure rising
- An increased chance of preeclampsia
- A higher chance of the mother getting type 2 diabetes in the future
- High birth weight, early birth
- Low blood sugar levels in the new-born
For advice on preventing gestational diabetes, keep reading. We also talk about early warning signs and symptoms and risk factors.
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Even though gestational diabetes cannot always be prevented, women can take several precautions to help lower their risk of getting it.
Pregnancy should begin at a healthy weight.
Before becoming pregnant, a woman trying to conceive should make lifestyle decisions to help her achieve and maintain a healthy weight. An analysis of 10 years’ worth of data on gestational diabetes by the authors of a 2018 study led them to the conclusion that being overweight was a key risk factor.
Other studies support that a woman is more likely to acquire gestational diabetes if her BMI exceeds 25. The researchers pointed out that altering one’s diet decreased the risk.
Maintaining a healthy weight requires regular exercise. Exercise can help avoid gestational diabetes both before and during pregnancy. It makes the body more responsive to the pancreas’s production of insulin, which helps control blood sugar levels.
Even if it requires minor, long-term lifestyle adjustments, starting to be active before getting pregnant is a good idea. Steps that could be helpful for someone who leads a sedentary lifestyle include:
- Walking or cycling to work
- Parking farther away and walking the remaining distance
- Engaging in physical activity outside with children
- Trying yoga, ideally in a class designed especially for pregnant women or beginners
- Engaging in low-impact exercises, such as swimming
Eat a healthier diet during pregnancy.
Pregnancy can make maintaining a healthy diet challenging due to morning sickness, cravings, and food aversions. However, careful nutrition can guarantee that a woman only acquires a healthy weight during each trimester and help prevent gestational diabetes.
Avoid the following:
- Processed foods
- Beverages with added sugar, such as coffee drinks, energy drinks, juices, and sodas from the store
- Extra or added sugar
Schedule regular medical appointments
During pregnancy, a woman should visit a gynecologist often for routine care. The doctor will inquire about the pregnancy and any new symptoms throughout these appointments.
Additionally, they will perform a pelvic examination and use an ultrasound to evaluate the growing fetus. Some of the early symptoms of gestational diabetes may be identified by a physician, who can also recommend strategies to help prevent it.
A pregnant woman will get a gestational diabetes screening between 24 and 28 weeks. If it’s determined that she has gestational diabetes, the doctor will advise her to avoid further problems.
Early warning indicators
Many pregnant women with gestational diabetes don’t have any apparent symptoms. Additionally, it could be challenging to identify the symptoms from those brought on by regular pregnancy changes.
Early indicators of gestational diabetes include the following:
- Excessive thirst
- Large-volume urination
- Sugar in the urine
- Infections in the bladder, vagina, or skin.
- Eyesight blurring
When to visit a doctor
Typically, gestational diabetes can be discussed during a routine prenatal appointment. However, anyone who notices alterations in their symptoms or other issues should consult a physician or other healthcare provider at the early stages. The patient’s symptoms can be discussed with a doctor, who can then decide whether additional testing is required.
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