Gestational diabetes happens when a pregnant woman’s body is not able to use the glucose in her blood efficiently leading to elevated blood sugar levels. According to StanfordChildrens.org gestational diabetes is a condition that affects 3 to 9 women in every 100 or 10% of all pregnant women.
Caused by various factors, it puts the baby at risk of being born preterm, being excessively overweight at birth, suffering breathing difficulties, and developing type 2 diabetes later in life. So, what causes gestational diabetes and is controlling blood sugar while pregnant possible?
What Causes Blood Sugar Issues?
The leading cause of blood sugar issues is the body’s inability to produce sufficient insulin to handle the glucose levels in your blood. In pregnant women, this can happen as a result of hormones produced by the placenta. However, underlying issues such as being overweight, being older than 25 years, having previously had a heavy baby and a family history of type 2 diabetes can predispose the surrogate mother to develop gestational diabetes.
Common Blood Sugar Issues During Pregnancy
Gestational diabetes is typically screened for during the first trimester of your pregnancy. If however, your obstetrician believes you’re a high-risk patient blood sugar screening may happen earlier than at the typical 24-week mark. In addition, if you feel thirstier and hungrier than normal these may very well be tell-tale symptoms. Frequent use of the bathroom to urinate is another indicative sign of blood sugar issues during pregnancy.
Reducing Risk of Gestational Diabetes
Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes, and if you already have it, controlling blood sugar while pregnant is definitely possible.
Diet is an important lifestyle consideration, particularly when you’re pregnant. While it’s normal to pack on a few extra pounds during your pregnancy, excessive weight gain will put you at risk of gestational diabetes. Working with your obstetrician, you can figure out a healthy weight that will ensure you and the baby stay healthy. Ensure that you’re eating a balanced diet that’s low in refined and processed carbs but high in vegetables, good fats, and proteins.
The benefits of exercising while you’re pregnant abound. From preparing you for relatively easier delivery to keeping you trim and flexible, it can also help in controlling blood sugar while pregnant. Avoid strenuous exercises, plyometric combinations, and overexerting yourself. Opt for low-impact variations such as Yoga, Pilates, walking, and swimming.
The majority of women are screened for gestational diabetes starting at week 24. The screening involves taking a glucose challenge and a possible oral glucose tolerance test. If your blood sugar levels are higher than the normally recommended targets your doctor will keep testing until they confirm or rule out gestational diabetes. If you’re a high-risk patient the sooner you get screened the sooner you can begin treatment.
Get in touch with Joy of Life® to discuss staying healthy during your surrogacy journey.