by Dr.Eswararamanan VR
Gestational Diabetes is a condition that affects a small percentage of pregnant women, about 4 . It is really unknown why pregnant women seem to get have this disorder only for the brief nine months they are pregnant since the it goes away once the baby is born. However, the reason is not really what is important, what is important is that mother and baby stay healthy through the pregnancy. In order for this to happen the mother needs to follow a special gestational diabetes diet plan.
Just like a person who is not pregnant and has diabetes, a pregnant woman with gestation diabetes needs to be on a special diet plan. Unfortunately, gestational diabetes can have harmful effects on the fetus, this does not happen all the time but it can happen. The baby can have various birth defects or the baby can be born too early which can be a cause of infant death if the body is not developed enough. It is also possible that fetuses that are exposed to diabetes while still in the womb could have type two diabetes later on in life. This is why it is so important for the mother to follow the diet plan that was set up for her but her prenatal care giver.
There are routine screenings for gestational diabetes that are done during the second trimester that are recommended to help protect both the mother and the baby. These tests usually occur around the 24th to the 26th week but can be sooner or later. The diet plan will include many changes that the mother may not be used to but they are important to keeping the both of them healthy through out the pregnancy and making sure the mother does not develop pregnancy induced hypertension, another serious condition that is more common.
The most basic changes include reduced intake of sugars such as white tablet sugar and syrups you may use on things like pancakes. The sugars will be replaced by a diet of complex carbohydrates and a balance of essential nutrients. To help the mother get started on a gestational diabetes dietary plan she will see a professional dietician that will give her a list that will make meal planning much easier for her and her family. The list is called an exchange list and has been used in all kinds of health situations that involve a person having to be on a special diet.
Gestational diabetes can be controlled and the risk of harm the baby can be lowered as long as the mother remembers to follow her diet plan. The mother can also use carbohydrate counting as an effective way to control her diabetes. Having gestational diabetes is not fun but it is something that many women have to deal with and watch out for while pregnant. It is important to protect the unborn child from birth defects and being born too early if at all possible. It is also important that the mother follow doctors instructions very carefully in order to stay healthy.
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