Written by Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Diabetes in the general population has increased in incidence by more than 10% in the last twenty years. This is probably due to a change in lifestyle from an active to a more sedentary one as also to presence of more processed food in the diet.
Consequently, a sharp increase in diagnosis of diabetes has also been seen in pregnant women. Another cause of an increased incidence of diabetes in pregnancy is that women nowadays are getting pregnant at a later age when diabetes is more common.
Two groups of patients are considered under this heading:
The complications, treatment and management of both the groups however are almost the same, so they will be described together.
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In women who are at risk of developing diabetes, fasting and post-prandial (after meals) blood is tested for blood sugar levels. An oral glucose tolerance test (GTT) may also be needed in some cases.
Women at risk of developing gestational diabetes can also use home test kits for regular monitoring of the blood glucose level.
The baby should be closely monitored after birth as there is a risk of development of neonatal hypoglycaemia.
The baby receives increased blood sugar from the mother while in the uterus. After birth, when this source of sugar disappears, there may be a sudden drop of blood sugar level. Regular blood samples are taken from the baby to test for the blood sugar level.
Glucose may be needed to be given to the baby by IV drip immediately after birth, and then the dose gradually tapered off as she adjusts to the changed environment.
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