Having a Healthy Pregnancy with Diabetes

This dreaded disease of diabetes is an illness which affects the blood sugar levels of a person. If a person is diagnosed with diabetes, that means that the amount of sugar in that person’s blood is much too high for the body to cope with.

The body simply cannot generate enough insulin for it to use up the sugar that is present in a person’s blood or the condition could simply be a manifestation of the person’s body’s failure to utilize insulin properly. Insulin is the hormone that is created by the pancreas in order to directly turn a person’s blood sugar into energy or maybe even transform it and store it as fat.

Aside from the fact that there are some women who have preexisting diabetes before their pregnancy, there are cases in which women who are bearing a child in their womb develop diabetes. These women generally constitute around 2 to 5 percent of the current population. This is called “gestational diabetes”. Today, despite the disease, these women do have an opportunity to have their baby as healthy as any newborn child.

Risks to the baby

There are those women who already have diabetes before their pregnancy and those women might not have been taking care of their condition during that time. For these types of women who have been very careless with their disorder, their babies are three to four times more likely to have dangerous birth defects than those women who do not have diabetes.

These types of birth defects can range from heart defects to brain defects to NTD, which is short for neural tube defect which might be identified in the future as anencephaly, encephalocele or spina bifida. Another thing is that pregnant women have an increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth which is when the fetus dies in the womb of the mother or while being delivered.

Risks to the mother

For women who have preexisting or gestational diabetes might cause some problems for the women in the sense that they might have significant trouble while delivering the baby.

Women who have not been able to control their diabetes during pregnancy are at an increased risk of having their baby develop a disorder which is called macrosomia. This condition develops because of increased sugar that is in the blood. What happens is that the babies which have macrosomia grow to be very large (up to 10 pounds or more) because the sugar from the mother’s blood is passed onto the baby and thus the baby’s body compensates by producing more insulin for these sugars to be stored as fat.

Because of the exaggerated amounts of sugar, this particular reaction happens and the fat that is produced is stored around the shoulders and the trunk of the infant. The added girth that these infants have essentially translate to an increased difficulty for the mother if she is having a normal vaginal delivery. This could put the mother at risk for serious injuries during childbirth.