Our San Antonio OBGYNs carefully monitor gestational diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a condition that women develop during pregnancy, resulting in high blood glucose levels. As a woman’s body goes through hormonal changes and the placenta begins producing more and more hormones, her body may not be able to effectively regulate insulin, a hormone that makes it possible for glucose to convert to energy. Left untreated, high blood glucose levels can create complications for the mother and baby. Our OBGYNs have the experience and expertise to help women with this condition as part of high risk pregnancy care.
Certain factors increase the risk for gestational diabetes
Every pregnant woman is at risk for gestational diabetes, but certain factors increase the risk for the condition.
- Being overweight or obese
- Being age 25 or older
- Having a personal history of gestational diabetes during past pregnancies
- Having a history of high-birth-weight babies (nine pounds or more)
- Having a family history of diabetes
- Being African-American, Asian-American, Hispanic or Latina, Native American or Pacific Islander
- Having a history of polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS
Every pregnant woman is screened between weeks 24 and 28
Our OBGYNs perform a blood test to screen every pregnant woman for gestational diabetes; this occurs between weeks 24 and 28. During your first prenatal visit, we take a thorough medical and personal history, and if we discover anything that makes us suspect that you may be at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes, we may order tests earlier in your pregnancy. If your screening indicates the possibility of gestational diabetes, our OBGYNs will order additional tests.
Monitoring and treatment help prevent complications
When a woman has gestational diabetes, she must be monitored more frequently and seen more often in our offices. We may ask you to keep a daily diary of your glucose levels, and will recommend eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. Some women may require insulin or other oral medications.
It’s very important to monitor and treat this condition because it can cause complications that affect both mother and baby. Gestational diabetes raises a mother’s risk for preeclampsia, high blood pressure and gestational diabetes in future pregnancies. It also increases a woman’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
A baby whose mother has gestational diabetes has an increased risk for several complications.
- Preterm birth
- Respiratory distress syndrome
- Birth weight of nine pounds or more
- Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar
- Developing type 2 diabetes later in life
With careful monitoring, proper care and treatment, most mothers with gestational diabetes will deliver a healthy baby. Our San Antonio OBGYNs provide thorough, expert care for women with this condition during and after pregnancy. Contact us for an appointment.