Bhubaneswar, Nov 14: Pregnancy diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, introduces a unique set of challenges when it occurs during pregnancy.
Globally, an estimated 21 million live births are affected by some form of hyperglycemia in pregnancy, according to the International Diabetes Federation.
Research indicates the pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes significantly heighten the risk of complications, making it imperative to understand the negative impacts, seek solutions, and implement effective management strategies for ensuring a healthy pregnancy.
According to the leading Obstetrics & Gynaecology specialist at Kar IVF Clinic, Dr Sujata Kar, explain about the impact of diabetes during pregnancy, offering valuable insights in to the potential challenges and practical solutions.
Negative Impacts of Diabetes on Pregnancy:
Increased Risk of Birth Defects: Women with poorly controlled diabetes are at a higher risk of giving birth to babies with congenital abnormalities, particularly affecting the heart and spine. Studies highlight a twofold to fourfold increased risk of congenital anomalies in infants born to mothers with pre-existing diabetes.
Gestational Diabetes: Some women develop diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes), which can lead to complications such as high birth weight, preterm birth, and increased likelihood of the child developing diabetes later in life. Gestational diabetes affects approximately 6-9% of pregnancies globally, according to the World Health Organization. This transient form of diabetes demands attention due to its potential impact on both maternal and fetal health, and the increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in life.
Preeclampsia: Diabetes can contribute to the development of preeclampsia, a condition characterized by high blood pressure and damage to organs, particularly the liver and kidneys, posing risks to both mother and baby. Research indicates that women with diabetes during pregnancy face a 2-5 times higher risk of developing preeclampsia compared to their non-diabetic counterpart.
Macrosomia (Large Baby): Poorly controlled diabetes can result in a larger-than-average baby, making labor and delivery more challenging and increasing the risk of birth injuries.
Neonatal Hypoglycemia: Babies born to mothers with diabetes are at risk of experiencing low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth. Prompt monitoring and intervention are crucial to prevent complications.
Long-term Health Implications: The impact of diabetes on pregnancy extends beyond childbirth. Children born to mothers with diabetes may face a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life, emphasizing the importance of postnatal care.
Preconception Planning: Women with diabetes should plan their pregnancies, ensuring that blood sugar levels are well-managed before conception. This can significantly reduce the risk of complications.
Regular Monitoring: Close monitoring of blood sugar levels throughout pregnancy is crucial. This may involve frequent glucose testing and adjustments to medication or insulin doses under the guidance of healthcare professionals.
Nutritional Guidance: A well-balanced diet, rich in nutrients and low in sugars, is essential for managing diabetes during pregnancy. Consultation with a nutritionist can provide personalized dietary recommendations.
Exercise: Regular, moderate exercise is beneficial for both diabetes management and overall pregnancy health. However, it's important to consult with healthcare providers to develop a safe exercise plan.
Medication Management: Strict adherence to medication and insulin regimens is vital. Medication adjustments may be necessary, especially as the pregnancy progresses.
Blood Sugar Monitoring at Home: Regular monitoring at home allows for real-time adjustments to diet, exercise, and medications, helping to maintain optimal blood sugar levels.
While diabetes poses unique challenges during pregnancy, proactive management and a collaborative healthcare approach can significantly reduce the associated risks. Preconception planning, diligent monitoring, nutritional support, and a focus on overall well-being empower women with diabetes to have a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. Regular communication with healthcare providers ensures that any issues are addressed promptly, enhancing the likelihood of a positive pregnancy experience for both mother and child. Dr. Sujata Kar's leadership at Kar Clinic & Hospitals reflects a commitment to empowering expectant mothers navigating diabetes during pregnancy.