What Does Gestational Diabetes Do To Your Baby
Your babyâs health is at risk when you have gestational diabetes. However, such risks can be lowered by you.
A hormone which comes from the pancreas, insulin, is essential for the absorption of glucose into your cells where it is converted to energy. While pregnant, your body may be not as sensitive as usual to insulin and this can result in a condition called gestational diabetes. When suffering from gestational diabetes, your blood glucose is excessively high and this can bring certain health problems to your fetus.
Gestational Diabetes and The Health of Your Baby
During your pregnancy, if blood glucose levels are constantly high, the extra glucose may go into your womb to reach your fetus. Your baby will have greater possibility of type 2 diabetes and obesity in future. Below are some other risks when you have gestational diabetes during pregnancy:
If the weight of a baby at birth is more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces, it is considered a big baby. Macrosomia is the term for such a baby. A macrosomia baby may have problems during a normal delivery; the more usual one is shoulder muscles and nerves damage. Therefore, if the doctor, after using ultrasound during the full period of pregnancy to monitor the babyâs size, finds the baby too big for a normal vaginal delivery, he may recommend a Caesarean section.
Due to exposure to excessive blood glucose levels in the womb, the baby will counter the extra blood glucose by producing additional insulin. This increased amount of insulin in the baby can result in a sharp drop of glucose after birth, leading to hypoglycemia. This condition occurring at birth is dangerous to the baby since your baby is at this time totally dependent upon sugar for energy. Difficulty in breathing, sluggishness, and seizures are the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Due to this, your doctor will test your babyâs blood sugar level immediately after delivery. If the blood sugar level is found to be low, a sugar solution will be given to your baby until the blood sugar levels becomes stable.
When the baby has jaundice, the skin has a yellow discoloration caused by a pigment, bilirubin, which is produced when the red blood cells in the body break down. Most newborn babies suffer from jaundice, but this happens more often to babies from mothers who suffer from gestational diabetes. Babies who have jaundice can be weaker and are more difficult to feed. A blood test for bilirubin will be carried out and a particular kind of light will be used on your baby to remove the bilirubin pigment.
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Long-Term Effects of Gestational Diabetes on Your Baby
Children born to women who have gestational diabetes have greater possibility of getting type 2 diabetes, obesity and difficulties in learning in the years to come.
Many decades ago, it was first accepted as correct the connection between a childâs obesity and the motherâs gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Today, the connection has been confirmed; the child from a mother who has gestational diabetes has a greater chance of being obese.
- Type 2 diabetes.
Studies indicate that a baby and the mother who has gestational diabetes stand a better chance of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Type 2 diabetes, which has the most number of diabetes sufferers, is due to the bodyâs resistance to insulin which prevents the use of insulin by the body. The risk for type 2 diabetes is even greater if a person is obese.
- Learning disability.
When gestational diabetes is not controlled properly, your body turns to muscle tissue and fat, instead of blood sugar, as energy sources. The by-product of this process is called âketonesâ. According to some studies, babies exposed to ketones can have a reduced IQ and learning difficulties as they grow up. Although the results of these studies have yet to be confirmed and are being challenged, it is a good reason to control your gestational diabetes.
Even though there are many health problems linked to gestational diabetes, there is much that can be done by you to ensure that the health of your child is well protected. To ensure your babyâs health, your own health must be at its best at all times throughout your pregnancy. Consult your diabetes educator and your doctor to create a nutritious meal plan and the right exercise program. According to some research, breastfeeding can reduce your babyâs chances of type 2 diabetes and obesity in the years to come. So breastfeeding is another way to help your baby.
Eventually, you will discover that nothing beats proper nutrition and every day exercise for a healthy life without diabetes and obesity for your child and you. Be the good example for your child to follow into a healthier future.