Gestational diabetes is a carbohydrate intolerance diagnosed during pregnancy.
Approximately 7% of pregnancies are complicated by diabetes, and 90% of these cases are gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Women with GDM have a higher risk of having larger babies. Larger babies often have a more difficult childbirth with problems such as shoulder dystocia and birth trauma. If the estimated fetal weight is greater than 4500 grams, scheduled cesarean delivery is reasonable.
Women with GDM have an increased risk of developing high blood pressure complications during their pregnancy contributing and having babies with low blood sugar and elevated bilirubin levels.
Women diagnosed with GDM can reduce the risk of these complications with a regular exercise program, limiting carbohydrate intake and by taking the appropriate medications. Women with gestational diabetes may also require increased fetal surveillance in the form of ultrasounds, non-stress tests (NSTS), and consultations with an endocrinologist and/or a perinatologist.
Women with GDM should have a follow-up blood test 6-12 weeks after delivery due to their increased risk of having diabetes.
At Marina Shores OBGYN I screen all pregnant patients for gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). If the diagnosis of GDM is made, appropriate follow-up testing and appointments will be arranged to obtain optimal outcome for you and your baby.