Gestational Diabetes Essay

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Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. Although it usually goes away after the baby is born, it does bring health risks for both the mother and baby. When you’re pregnant, pregnancy hormones make it harder for insulin to move glucose from your blood into the cells. If your body can’t produce enough insulin to overcome the effects of insulin resistance, you’ll develop gestational diabetes. (IHC, 2013) Any woman might develop gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. However, there are certain risk factors that increase your chance of developing gestational diabetes. Those risk factors include: overweight, family history of diabetes, being of an ethnic group with an increased risk for gestational diabetes, older than twenty-five, if you have had pre-diabetes or high glucose, previously had gestational diabetes. (IHC, 2013) Women with gestational diabetes often have no symptoms. For this reason, experts recommend a glucose screening test between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy. If you’ve had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy, you may also have screening earlier in this pregnancy. If the results from this one-hour glucose screening test are abnormally high, you may be asked to do a 3-hour glucose tolerance test. If 2 out of 4 values on the tolerance test are high, your doctor will diagnose gestational diabetes. (IHC, 2010) After being diagnosed with gestational diabetes many women ask, now what? Your doctor or midwife will work with you to develop a gestational diabetes treatment plan. You may also work with a registered dietitian or a diabetes educator. Your team will develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs and describes in detail what you should do. The main goal... ... middle of paper ... ...r their child’s risk of being overweight or obese, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. (NDEP, 2013) Breastfeeding also helps you lose the weight gained during pregnancy. Postpartum care of the patient diagnosed with gestational diabetes should also include glucose testing. Glucose should be tested at the six week appointment and then at least every three years thereafter. In subsequent pregnancies glucose should be checked early on in pregnancy because of increased risk of developing gestational diabetes. (NDEP, 2013) In conclusion, women with a history of gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. By following health interventions they are able to decrease the chance and can avoid the development of diabetes. Abiding by these healthy lifestyle changes increases quality of life of both mom and infant.

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