Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Occurrence of gestational diabetes mellitus, a distinct type of diabetes that presents only during pregnancy, is also frequent in women, reaching a 5% prevalence of pregnancies, in total. In most cases, blood sugar levels can be regulated with exercise and mindful nutrition. However, some women may need more intensive treatment with insulin.

When a pregnant woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes, both she and the fetus are prone to presenting various complications. First, the possibility of presenting other pregnancy complications, like preeclampsia and premature birth, is increased. Also, women with gestational diabetes give birth to babies with high body weight (macrosomia) which may lead to difficulty in pushing the baby out of the genital route and, consequently, totraumatizing the baby (brachial plexus injury). Finally, infants may present hypoglycemia or respiratory difficulties following birth.

In addition to the infant age, gestational diabetes has a negative impact later in childhood, increasing the risk of obesity, insulin resistance, cardiovascular diseases and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) in girls.

Usually, gestational diabetes subsides after the end of pregnancy. However this doesn’t mean that those women farewell diabetes forever, since they will always be at high risk of presenting Type II Diabetes later in life.