How to deal with gestational diabetes and still ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy?

By Dr Payal Narang

Even before you know you are pregnant, high blood glucose, also known as blood sugar, can harm your unborn child in the early stages of pregnancy. See your doctor as soon as possible to develop a strategy for managing your diabetes if you have it and are already pregnant. You can have a safe pregnancy and healthy child by working with your medical team and according to your diabetes treatment plan.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Baby?

During the first eight weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s organs, including the brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs, begin to develop. High blood sugar levels can be dangerous in this early period. It increases the risk of your baby being born with birth problems, including heart defects or brain or spinal abnormalities.

In addition, high blood sugar during pregnancy can increase the chance that your baby will be born prematurely, weigh too much, have breathing problems, or have low blood sugar right after birth. High blood sugar levels can also cause you to miscarry or have a stillborn child. The term “stillborn” refers to a child who dies in the womb during the second part of pregnancy.

How Can Diabetes Affect the Mother?

Your blood glucose levels are affected by hormonal and metabolic changes in your body that occur during pregnancy. So you may need to manage your diabetes strictly. Even if you’ve had diabetes for a long time, you may need to adjust your diet, exercise regimen, and medication. You may need to switch to insulin if you have been taking oral diabetes medications. Your management strategy may change once again as your due date approaches.

Pregnancy can exacerbate some long-term diabetes complications, especially if your blood glucose levels are very high. Such as eye problems and kidney disease.

In addition, you are more likely to have preeclampsia, also known as toxemia, which manifests as high blood pressure and an excessive amount of protein in the urine in the second stage of pregnancy. Preeclampsia can seriously harm you or your unborn child. Once a patient has given birth, eclampsia subsides. Your doctor may advise an early delivery if you have pre-eclampsia or if you can deliver at 36/37 weeks. To help your baby develop as much as possible before birth, you and your doctor can discuss other alternatives before 37 weeks.


To stay healthy and have a healthy baby, it is crucial to keep your blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible during your pregnancy. You can better control your diabetes by getting checked regularly before and during pregnancy. A proper diabetic meal plan, exercise as recommended by your healthcare provider, and taking diabetes medications when needed. Quitting smoking and taking vitamins as directed by your doctor can help both you and your unborn child stay healthy.

(The author is a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital Lullanagar. The article is for informational purposes only. Consult medical experts and health professionals before embarking on any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policies.)

How to deal with gestational diabetes and still ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy?

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