What is it? Who gets it?
Gestational Diabetes can affect women who are pregnant. I was one of the lucky ones who didn’t get it when pregnant with either of my girls. I knew a bit about this one but not really how it affects a woman or what it is exactly. I just knew that I could get it when pregnant, especially since apparently those who have had miscarriages have a higher chance of getting it; I had 4 miscarriages. I remember having to go to an appointment when I was 24 weeks pregnant and had to drink this disgusting tasting drink then wait for a while until they could draw my blood in order to test it.
The drinks were very sugary and warm. Neither of the drinks that I had for my pregnancies tasted good at all. One was like a flat Sprite, while the other one was a flat orange soda. But of course I know it is just a slight discomfort to deal with while pregnant in order to find out if you have gestational diabetes or not.
But what exactly is it? It is a diabetes that unfortunately causes high blood sugar levels that can affect your baby’s health along with your pregnancy and health. And they don’t know why some get it and why others do not but they think that if you already have excess weight before you get pregnant that it can be a factor Also a poor diet could be a factor in getting this diabetes so that is why they always say to eat healthy and exercise. Another factor that could cause gestational diabetes is those pesky things known as our hormones. As our body changes when pregnant, so do our hormones. And as our hormone levels change, it could make it harder for our bodies to process sugars. This will make our sugar levels rise and you will definitely need to make sure that you get checked by your OBGYN.
What does it do to your body?
Gestational Diabetes , they say, doesn’t really have any noticeable symptoms but they think you can have an increase in thirst and have to use the restroom more often. But of course, you have to use the restroom more often already during a pregnancy so that to me is definitely not a symptom that would let me know if I had gestational diabetes or not. So it is definitely hard to figure out if you have it or not before you get tested. But if you have family members who have diabetes, it would be smart to tell your OBGYN so that you both can monitor your blood sugar levels.
It can cause complications during your pregnancy and the main thing it can do is rise your blood sugars too high. This will cause problems for your baby, not just you, and it could cause you to have to have a C-section in order to deliver your baby when he or she is ready to join you in the world. Your baby can also have complications such as high birth weight, preterm birth, and sadly health problems later on in life. It is said that those with gestational diabetes could also have it transform into Type 2 diabetes after giving birth. Besides high blood pressure and future type 2 diabetes, you can also suffer from preeclampsia.
Other problems that your baby may have could be low blood sugar, serious breathing difficulties, and sadly a higher rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes later on in life. The hardest complication that your baby can have with gestational diabetes is sadly stillbirth. This is the worse and the most disheartening of the complications that are caused by gestational diabetes and one that no mother should ever suffer. This is why it is so important to monitor your diabetes if you have it and do whatever you can to keep it from getting out of control.
This is where I was completely in the dark about what it can do to your baby and my heart literally stopped when I read about stillbirth as being a complication that you have to deal with if you let your gestational diabetes out of control. And reading about the other risk factors? Overweight, have family members with diabetes, are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Alaska Native, Pacific Islander, or Native American, had miscarriages, given birth to a large baby, older than 25, and so many more that it made my head spin. I was over 25 when I got pregnant; I am half Hispanic; I had 4 miscarriages, so why did I not get it? I was exercising but not by much, mainly just walking, and I had an okay healthy diet and yet I was still very lucky to not have gestational diabetes. It is still a mystery to me after now learning more about it as to why I didn’t get it. Plus, I am HUGE sugar fiend and yet I am “healthy” especially when I was pregnant back in 2013 and then again in 2018? I can’t wrap my mind around it, but here I am thankfully diabetes free. My heart goes out to those who had it while pregnant and hope that they could keep it under control and could deliver healthy happy babies.
What can you do about it?
Thankfully, there are things you can do to keep your gestational diabetes in check. Eating a healthier diet, safe exercising, more meetings with your OBGYN, daily blood testing, insulin injections if needed, keep track of your weight, and also check your urine. Apparently there is something you have to look for in your urine called ketones. It is chemicals that can show you that your diabetes isn’t under control. But they say a healthy diet and exercise are the biggest factors to keep you gestational diabetes in check.
Other things you can do before getting pregnant is to make sure you are eating healthy, monitoring your weight before and when you are pregnant so that you aren’t gaining too much weight, and of course, exercise. And as always be completely honest with your doctor to begin with and tell them if your family has diabetes or had gestational diabetes when pregnant. The best way to keep yourself and your baby safe from gestational diabetes is always be open with your doctor and OBGYN before pregnancy and when you first get pregnant. Your doctors and OBGYN are your friend and want you to have a safe pregnancy and safe delivery.
Can sugar substitutes help?
Truthfully, I don’t know as I am not a doctor or nurse or anyone in the medical field but as one who is a sugar fiend; I think it could. I mean, why not just try? A sugar substitute like VIANA Stevia would be a better choice than real sugar any day as it is natural and has no calories so it wouldn’t hurt your calory in take or your calory counting if you watch your calories. If it means it could help you against gestational diabetes and keeping yourself and your baby safe, I would give it a go. It will help you slip into that healthier diet section that could help you in the long run. So why not give it a chance?
Here are some links that helped me while researching this topic for my blog and I am grateful that there is a whole internet out there with information. Research, read, learn, and do your best is all you can do with gestational diabetes and any of the other diabetes as well. I will cover Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes at a later date. In the meantime, I hope this blog was an educational trip for you as it has been for me to write. Enjoy the links shared. I have also shared a link that will take you to another of my blogs about VIANA Stevia and a link to where you can buy the product if you are interested in trying it.