Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It affects about 4% of all pregnancies in the United States. While it can be managed with diet and exercise, it is important to understand the risks associated with gestational diabetes in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the needs of the growing baby. This can lead to high blood sugar levels, which can cause a variety of health problems for both the mother and the baby.
The most common risk associated with gestational diabetes is an increased risk of preterm birth. Babies born before 37 weeks of gestation are at an increased risk of health problems, including breathing difficulties, low birth weight, and jaundice.
Women with gestational diabetes are also at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy. This can lead to preeclampsia, a serious condition that can cause premature delivery and other complications.
Women with gestational diabetes are also at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. This is because the body becomes more resistant to insulin during pregnancy, which can lead to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Finally, women with gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of having a large baby. This can lead to a difficult delivery and an increased risk of birth injuries.
It is important to understand the risks associated with gestational diabetes in order to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Women should talk to their doctor about their risk factors and any steps they can take to reduce their risk. This may include monitoring blood sugar levels, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. By understanding the risks and taking steps to reduce them, women can help ensure a healthy pregnancy for both themselves and their baby.