Gestational diabetes and what it means when you have it

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Gestational diabetes occurs in about four percent of all expectant mothers. In most cases, the altered hormonal balance is to blame for this condition. Therefore, the blood sugar level usually regulates itself again after birth.

Pregnancy hormones influence the metabolism of the mother-to-be, because both she and the child must be supplied with sufficient sugar.

Between the fifth and seventh month of pregnancy, however, the body cells no longer react so well to the insulin carrier due to the hormones, which means that the blood sugar level rises. If no more insulin is released from the pancreas due to a malfunction, the sugar level remains high, resulting in gestational diabetes.

Expectant mothers affected should curb their cravings for sweets and sugary foods and exercise lightly.

Gestational diabetes: risks for mother and child

Since the baby is supplied by the mother’s blood, the still incomplete organism has to tackle gestational diabetes all by itself: the child’s pancreas has to produce more insulin, which stimulates the growth of fatty tissue. As a result, many of these children grow disproportionately fast, requiring a cesarean section.

As a mother, you have a higher risk of becoming overweight later or developing diabetes yourself. There are also risks for mothers from gestational diabetes: their blood pressure can rise sharply, which can ultimately lead to pre-eclampsia, a dangerous disease that can lead to eclampsia.

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