Blog 805

Gestational diabetes linked to delivering premature babies

Dr Vimee BindraWhen we talk about gestational diabetes and its complications, variation in the blood sugar levels in pregnancy is the major cause of maternal, fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, writes Dr Vimee Bindra, a leading Gynecologist & Reproductive Endocrinologist (Infertilty) at Apollo Cradle.

Changing lifestyle and stressed behaviour in woman these days is leading to high risk factors during pregnancy. Fluctuation in the blood sugar levels, hypertension are the major complications during pregnancy, which to a large extent is ending up in delivering premature babies.

Also, women carrying more than one baby are more likely to develop diabetes and hypertension, as their body is under additional stress during pregnancy. As we know pregnancy causes hormone shifts, as well as psychological and physical changes leading to stress in a pregnant woman, which can make the issue of blood sugar and blood pressure harder to manage.

Keeping the safety of both the mother and baby in mind, doctors try to wait and watch before taking a decision. But when things get out of control they are forced to take extreme steps and it becomes their responsibility to save both the mother and the baby.

In premature delivery, the baby may need artificial incubator in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) and may need respiratory support as the baby may develop severe breathing problem due to immaturity of lungs. If a preterm delivery is planned, doctors do advice an injection for lung maturity but this is not the case always and sometimes due to emergency reasons unplanned delivery happens and the baby may need surfactant for the proper functioning of lungs.

When we talk about gestational diabetes and its complications, variation in the blood sugar levels in pregnancy is the major cause of maternal, fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. The fetus has an increased risk of intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, large for dates baby, cardiac abnormalities and in severe uncontrolled cases may cause intrauterine death.

Management depends on the woman’s blood sugar level, gestational age, blood flow in the placenta and dopplers. Gestational diabetes starts during pregnancy and ends with pregnancy. Mothers who are identified with gestational diabetes during pregnancy can still have healthy babies, all they need to do is to follow certain diet and stress free lifestyle to manage it and in some cases support of medications and insulin.

There are some myths and facts like- diabetes during pregnancy can later lead to type 2 diabetes, which may not be true always. Major reasons to develop diabetes during pregnancy are excessive weight gain before pregnancy, PCOS, working in odd shifts, stress, unhealthy eating habits and family history of diabetes.

Over the past few decades, the land of medicine has evolved tremendously in terms of technology and is going to advance even further. Working with this type of cutting edge technology, doctors today are able to provide treatments to their patients more effectively. Even while we are evolving so rapidly, there are some myths and facts people still tend to believe in and also practice.

The time has come when we need to put a full stop to such vague talks and analyse or consult doctors before taking a decision or coming to a conclusion. There are advanced treatments and facilities that are available which can identify the disorder well in advance and solve the problem before it is too late. Individuals should go by such healthy practices other than believing in untrue facts and myths. Remember, a stress-free pregnancy is a healthy pregnancy.

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