Category Archives: Pregnancy

High Glucose Levels During Pregnancy: Obese Children

High Glucose Levels During Pregnancy - Obese ChildrenChildhood obesity is one of the most troubling modern problems. It is now known that children of women who had diabetes during pregnancy face a greater than usual risk. In fact, the rate of obesity among children whose mothers had gestational diabetes is roughly double the norm.

One reason a mother’s uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a child’s obesity problems is the extra sugar the child gets in the womb. If the mother has high blood sugar levels, that means that very much glucose is circulating through her system.

The woman’s body is not able to use all this sugar, and that is why it has accumulated in the blood. Yet the baby can use the sugar. As it passes into the baby through the placenta, the sugar is immediately used up by the baby.

The result is that the baby gets fatter than it otherwise would. The fetus is getting more than its daily needs for sugar after all. By keeping her blood sugar levels normal, a woman can keep excess sugar from going to her baby. If she is successful, the baby may be born at a normal weight.

High birth weight is just one of the factors that lead to childhood obesity. Another is that the unhealthy doses of sugar in the womb set up patterns that can stay with a child for life.

These patterns are so ingrained by the time the child is born that it is hard to train them to eat normally. Even if it can be managed during the child’s infancy, things can rapidly change. As soon as the child has more control over the amount of food taken in, they will undoubtedly eat more.

The child’s metabolism is geared to obesity from the start, and without vigorous intervention, the child will become obese in a short amount of time. However, there is something mothers can do about this problem, and it starts during pregnancy.

If pregnant women take their blood sugar readings often, they will have the information they and their doctors need. Next they will work on control that will keep the levels of sugar in the woman’s blood to a minimum. Their babies will be healthy and have less chance of becoming obese in the future.

The pregnant mother’s diet and exercise habits will have a great effect on the later health of the child. If the mother eats healthily, the child is more likely to do the same as he or she grows. It has something to do with the amount of sugar the child is used to ingesting.

If a child has had no more than an acceptable amount of nourishment in the womb, later it is easier for that child to tell when they have had enough. They stop eating when their bodies tell them they are satisfied. On the other hand, a child who has been overfed in the womb will always feel hungry as they grow. This leads to childhood obesity too. Women can take charge of their diabetes control and prevent their children from becoming statistics in the battle against childhood obesity.

Gestational Diabetes Action Plan

Gestational diabetes is essentially Type 2 diabetes as a limited time companion. The expectant mother in gestational diabetes experiences the primary difficulties experienced by many Type 2 patients.

One of the more difficult problems for these moms-to-be is that they are already struggling with a hormone imbalance and the diagnosis of gestational diabetes can be a real emotional blow.

What can be especially hard is that the expectant mother will need to make immediate changes to her diet in order to get back on track.

What happens if the mother avoids remedial action?

  • She risks complications moving forward in her pregnancy. She may experience high blood pressure, large baby at birth, birth defects in her child and premature birth.
  • Her child may be at risk for the development of diabetes and obesity.
  • She may be at risk for the development of type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • The delivery may have to be carried out by caesarean section.

Some women may feel as if they can ignore the issue because gestational diabetes typically goes away following the birth of the baby. However, the problems created in those weeks where the baby continues to grow inside the womb can create long-term problems for both mother and child.

What lifestyle changes should the expectant mom look forward to?
One of the primary changes will be sugar abstinence. Your body is producing large amounts of blood glucose. The pancreas that helps your baby develop is often not producing enough insulin. When your blood sugar levels go up it will also go up in your baby. Your child’s pancreas will similarly work to develop insulin, but because of the high glucose levels the baby will store the excess glucose as fat. This is why the baby will likely be larger than you might have expected.

You may not be forced to endure a sugar fast, but the significant reduction in sugar and the addition of complex carbohydrates can help stabilize your own blood glucose and in turn – your baby’s.

A primary care physician will likely suggest a consultation with a registered dietitian that can work to help provide a list of options to help you gain comfort in the changes you will need to make.

Post pregnancy
Many women experience weight that doesn’t easily go away following pregnancy. It is important for those who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes to work hard at reducing their post pregnancy weight. Losing those pounds may be difficult work, but it could result in keeping type 2 diabetes from developing early in life.

In some cases a preliminary diagnosis of gestational diabetes is revised later. There are those times when a woman’s body expresses diabetes during pregnancy and symptoms remain following the birth. In these cases the plan developed during pregnancy will be extended and revised following the birth of the baby. While this is rare it is something that happens and can provide a unique element to the process of pregnancy.

Many women who have had gestational diabetes will also be at risk for large babies in future pregnancies. They may avoid the problem by managing their pregnancy diet using standard Type 2 diabetic nutritional guidelines.

You will need to remember that gestational diabetes affects both you and your unborn child. While issues may seem short-term your attention to immediate details can help you establish a healthier future for yourself and welcome your child into the world with fewer potential health issues to contend with as they grow to adulthood.