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How Much Blood Sugar Is Too High During Pregnancy

Diabetes And Pregnancy: Twice As Important

Diabetes And Pregnancy: Twice As Important

Pregnancy is a wondrous and exciting time. It’s a time of change, both physically and emotionally. With the proper attention and prenatal medical care, most women with diabetes can enjoy their pregnancies and welcome a healthy baby into their lives. Why Tight Blood Sugar Control Is Critically Important Blood sugar control is important from the first week of pregnancy all the way until delivery. Organogenesis takes place in the first trimester. Uncontrolled blood sugar during the early weeks of pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage, and birth defects. (Women don’t develop gestational diabetes until later in pregnancy, which means they don’t share these early pregnancy risks.) Later in the pregnancy, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause fetal macrosomia, which may lead to shoulder dystocia, fractures, and the need for Cesarean section deliveries. Very high blood sugar levels can increase the risk of stillbirth. Maternal hyperglycemia can stimulate fetal hyperinsulinemia, and lead to neonatal hypoglycemia when the glucose supply (umbilical cord) is cut. Because of all these increased risks, home deliveries are not typically recommended for women with any form of diabetes. As many as two thirds of all women with diabetes have unplanned pregnancies and most women don’t realize that they’re pregnant until six or more weeks into the pregnancy. That’s why it’s critically important for women who have diabetes to use contraception and achieve tight blood sugar control prior to conception. Many health-care providers suggest at least three to six months of stable blood sugar control prior to attempting to conceive. Hemoglobin A1c should be within 1 percentage point above the lab normal, which means striving for a HbA1c of less than 7 percent. Women using or Continue reading >>

Mothers' High Normal Blood Sugar Levels Place Infants At Risk For Birth Problems

Mothers' High Normal Blood Sugar Levels Place Infants At Risk For Birth Problems

Pregnant women with blood sugar levels in the higher range of normal — but not high enough to be considered diabetes — are more likely than women with lower blood sugar levels to give birth to babies at risk for many of the same problems seen in babies born to women with diabetes during pregnancy, according to a study funded in large part by the National Institutes of Health. These problems included a greater likelihood for Caesarean delivery and an abnormally large body size at birth. Infants born to women with higher blood sugar levels were also at risk for shoulder dystocia, a condition occurring during birth, in which an infant’s shoulder becomes lodged inside the mother's body, effectively halting the birth process. The study authors declined to make recommendations for acceptable blood sugar levels for pregnant women. The researchers were unable to identify a precise level where an elevation in blood sugar increased the risk for any of the outcomes observed in the study. Rather, the chances for the outcomes were observed to increase gradually, corresponding with increases in the women’s blood sugar levels. It is well known that high blood sugar levels characteristic of the diabetes that occurs during pregnancy present risks for expectant mothers and the infants born to them. The current study is the first to document that higher blood sugar levels, not high enough to be considered diabetes, also convey these increased risks. Furthermore, when the researchers mathematically adjusted for other potential causes of these risks — such as older maternal age, obesity, and high blood pressure — the increased risks due to higher blood sugar levels were still present. "These important new findings highlight the risks of elevated blood sugar levels during pregnan Continue reading >>

I Have Gestational Diabetes And I'm Having A Problem Keeping My Glucose Down.

I Have Gestational Diabetes And I'm Having A Problem Keeping My Glucose Down.

I had gestational diabetes with both of my pregancies. I know it isn't easy but you definetly need to watch what you eat and exercise. I was not put on insulin this last pregnancy I was put on a pill that I took in the morning before I ate and ended up having to take one at night to. The doctors main concern is when you have the baby, they could have problems with their sugar. My daughter came out and ended up her sugar dropped and she couldn't come out of the nursery until it was stable. With both of my pregnancies I wasn't able to see my baby until 24 hrs. My son ended up having fluid on his lungs, and my daughter had issues with her sugar. Try your best on watching what you eat and try and exercise. Another issue is the babies weight. My son was 10 lbs 6 oz, my daughter was only 8lbs 10oz. Not trying to worry you but big babies can happen especailly with gestational diabetes. Good Luck. I have Type 1 Diabetes, I am 23 weeks pregnant and I don't know if anyone has told you this...but the pancreas makes insulin and it is a hormone that you need to keep your blood sugar normal. When you are pregnant your body requires more insulin to preform the body functions. The amount of insulin you need changes up until you are about 36 weeks pregnant and then it just evens out again. They have no idea why but it just happens. I don't know if it is the same way for Gestational Diabetes, but i just thought you might want to know this information if it is the same. But you also should know that any white breads will raise your sugar and same with sweat things. Not to mention that salty foods can actually make you feel like you are having a high blood sugar but it is just the need to drink a ton more water. Because of the diabetes you will need like twice as much water as you would if Continue reading >>

Weight And High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy May Cause Risks For Baby

Weight And High Blood Sugar During Pregnancy May Cause Risks For Baby

Pregnant women who are even marginally overweight or with high blood sugar levels could face risks not only for themselves, but for their unborn babies. Northwestern University’s Dr. Boyd Metzger talks about the effect of a mother’s blood sugar levels on pregnancy and what women can do to help prevent problems. Metzger’s research has showed that women with slightly high levels of blood sugar could raise blood sugar levels in unborn babies. And the latest review of the data suggests that elevated blood sugar levels, as well as too much weight gain, can lead to riskier pregnancies. Obstetricians routinely monitor a mother-to-be’s weight and blood sugar during pregnancy. Women may develop gestational diabetes, which is any form of glucose intolerance or high blood sugar that begins during pregnancy. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 18 percent of pregnant women develop this condition. Metzger is a professor of metabolism and nutrition in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Molecular Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. He was the lead researcher of a large-scale international study focusing on weight gain and blood sugar levels during pregnancy. What are your areas of interest and expertise?I am interested in gestational diabetes. I also study the impact of a mother’s nutrition on the development of the fetus. As the lead investigator in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome study, can you explain a little bit about what you researched and how you did it?There has been a debate about how much high blood sugar contributes to an increased risk in adverse pregnancy situations. The purpose of the study was to determine where and how blood sugar levels, regardless of other factors, can affect a fetus. So Continue reading >>

Pregnant Women With High Blood Sugar May Put Their Babies At Risk For Congenital Birth Defects

Pregnant Women With High Blood Sugar May Put Their Babies At Risk For Congenital Birth Defects

Delivering a healthy baby is the goal, but a woman with elevated blood sugar levels could be damaging how her baby's tiny heart develops during pregnancy. Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine in collaboration with Stanford Children’s Health have revealed women don’t need to have a diabetes diagnosis to put their babies at risk for two serious birth defects in the heart. The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, delves deeper into the link between how blood sugar levels affect a mother and her baby. "We already knew that women with diabetes were at significantly increased risk for having children with congenital heart disease," said the study’s lead author Dr. James Priest, a postdoctoral scholar in pediatric cardiology, in a press release. "What we now know, thanks to this new research, is that women who have elevated glucose values during pregnancy that don't meet our diagnostic criteria for diabetes also face an increased risk." For the study, Priest and his colleagues analyzed blood samples taken from 227 pregnant women who were in their second trimester. The samples were taken at various points throughout the day and did not require women to fast beforehand. They were measuring for blood sugar (glucose) levels and insulin, which is a hormone that controls blood sugar. Out of the group of women, 55 infants had Tetralogy of Fallot, which means the baby was born with structural defects in both the heart and the blood vessels that connect the heart to the lungs. It most commonly causes “blue baby syndrome,” which occurs when the infant is unable to get enough oxygen. The group of mothers who gave birth to babies with that particular birth defect had a higher average blood glucose level compared to other mothers. Another 42 infants were born w Continue reading >>

7 Techniques To Reduce Post-meal Spikes During Pregnancy

7 Techniques To Reduce Post-meal Spikes During Pregnancy

“Gary, I think I need more insulin at breakfast.” “Why do you say that, Julianne?” “Because I’m always having high readings right afterwards, and my obstetrician said I shouldn’t spike after I eat.” “And what happens after the spike?” “It usually comes down to normal before lunch. So do you think I should take more insulin?” After-meal blood sugar spikes can create quite a quandary for anyone with diabetes, particularly during pregnancy. Research has shown that fetal macrosomia (overgrowth of the baby) becomes more common when post-meal blood sugars exceed 120 mg/dl (6.7 mmol). With post-meal readings above 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol), the risk more than doubles from baseline. Fetal macrosomia can cause many problems during pregnancy. When the baby grows and develops too rapidly, it can lead to a premature and more complicated birth. It may also cause injuries to occur to the baby during delivery. Why do after-meal blood sugars have such a major influence on the baby’s growth? Nobody knows for certain. Perhaps, when the mother’s blood sugar “spikes” suddenly after meals, the baby is fed more sugar than its pancreas can “cover” with insulin, and high fetal blood sugar results. And because the baby’s kidneys spill almost all excess sugar from the baby’s bloodstream back into the amniotic fluid, the baby then drinks in the extra glucose and winds up growing more than it should. Suffice to say that post-meal blood sugar spikes are something to avoid during pregnancy. But how do we do it? Getting back to Julianne’s question, if she takes more insulin, she’ll probably wind up hypoglycemic before lunch. Luckily, we have some excellent techniques for preventing the after-meal highs without having to take more mealtime insulin. What Causes Sp Continue reading >>

Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy, What's Normal?

Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy, What's Normal?

The form of diabetes which develops during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes. This condition has become predominant in the recent pastaccording to the 2009 article in American Family Physician. For instance, in the United States alone, it affects around 5% to 9% of all the pregnant women. Pregnancy aggravates the preexisting type 2 and type 1 diabetes. During pregnancy the sugar level may tend to be high sometimes, posing problems to the mother and the infant as well. However, concerning the sugar level during pregnancy, what's normal? Blood sugar control is one of the most essential factors that should be undertaken during pregnancy. When measures are taken to control blood sugar level during pregnancy, it increases chances of a successful pregnancy. The average fasting glucose for pregnant women without any diabetes condition range from 69 to 75 and from 105 to 108 immediately one hour after consuming food. If you have preexisting diabetes or you have developedgestational diabetes, the best way to handle the blood sugar level is to ensure that it remains in between the normal range, not going too low or high. According to the recommendations of the 2007, Fifth International Workshop-Conference on Gestational Diabetes, which established blood glucose goals especially for diabetic women, during the period of pregnancy, the fasting blood sugar should not exceed 96. Blood sugar should remain below 140 just one hour after eating and below 120 two hours later. Why Is It Important to Keep Normal Blood Sugar Level During Pregnancy? The most effective way to prevent complications related to diabetes is to control the amount or the level of blood sugar. This blood sugar control is very significant during pregnancy as it can: Minimize the risk of stillbirth as well as m Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Pregnancy

Diabetes And Pregnancy

One in twenty pregnant women in Australia is affected by diabetes. Although the disease can cause serious complications for mothers and babies, good planning and comprehensive antenatal care can keep you and your baby healthy. By Joanna Egan. Diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by the body's inability to control glucose levels in the blood. Glucose is a simple sugar found in foods such as breads, cereals, fruit, starchy vegetables, legumes, dairy products and sweets. A hormone produced by the pancreas, called insulin, converts this glucose into energy that is used to fuel the body. When a person has diabetes, they either don't produce enough insulin or are unable to use insulin effectively. This causes glucose to build up in their bloodstream. There are several types of diabetes: Type 1: People with type 1 diabetes don't produce insulin. As a result, they need to monitor their blood glucose levels carefully and require regular insulin injections (up to four times a day). Generally, type 1 diabetes arises in children and young adults, but it can occur at any age. Type 2: This is the most common form of diabetes. Some people have a genetic predisposition to developing the disease but often, it is caused by lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, obesity, insufficient exercise and poor diet. People with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but either don't produce enough or are unable to use it effectively. Generally, it is initially managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity, but as the condition progresses, glucose-lowering tablets and/or insulin injections may be prescribed. Gestational diabetes: This form of diabetes develops, or is first diagnosed, during pregnancy. It usually appears late in the second trimester and resolves after childbir Continue reading >>

Infant Of Diabetic Mother

Infant Of Diabetic Mother

Diabetes in pregnancy There are two types of diabetes that occur in pregnancy: Gestational diabetes. This term refers to a mother who does not have diabetes before becoming pregnant but develops a resistance to insulin because of the hormones of pregnancy. Pregestational diabetes. This term describes women who already have insulin-dependent diabetes and become pregnant. With both types of diabetes, there can be complications for the baby. It is very important to keep tight control of blood sugar during pregnancy. What causes diabetes in pregnancy? The placenta supplies a growing fetus with nutrients and water. It also produces a variety of hormones to maintain the pregnancy. Some of these hormones (estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen) can block insulin. This usually begins about 20 to 24 weeks into the pregnancy. As the placenta grows, more of these hormones are produced, and insulin resistance becomes greater. Normally, the pancreas is able to make additional insulin to overcome insulin resistance, but when the production of insulin is not enough to overcome the effect of the placental hormones, gestational diabetes results. Pregnancy also may change the insulin needs of a woman with preexisting diabetes. Insulin-dependent mothers may require more insulin as pregnancy progresses. Who is affected by diabetes in pregnancy? About 5 percent of all pregnant women in the U.S. are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetics make up the vast majority of pregnancies with diabetes. Some pregnant women require insulin to treat their diabetes. Why is diabetes in pregnancy a concern? The mother's excess amounts of blood glucose are transferred to the fetus during pregnancy. This causes the baby's body to secrete increased amounts of insulin, which result Continue reading >>

Pregnancy: High-normal Blood Sugar Risky

Pregnancy: High-normal Blood Sugar Risky

May 7, 2008 -- Babies born to women with even slightly higher-than-normal blood sugar levels are at increased risk for a range of pregnancy and delivery-related complications, findings from an international study confirm. The large study examined the risks associated with having elevated blood sugar during pregnancy that is not high enough to be considered gestational diabetes. More than 25,000 pregnant women from nine countries took part in the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) study, which appears in the May 8 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine and was largely funded by the National Institutes of Health. Even a small rise in blood sugar above what is considered normal was associated with an increase in adverse outcomes, including high birth weight, C-section delivery, and preeclampsia, a complication that can lead to premature birth and can be deadly if not treated. The findings make it clear that elevated blood sugar has a direct negative impact on pregnancy and delivery, study co-author Donald R. Coustan, MD, tells WebMD. Coustan is professor and chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University Medical School. "This lays to rest many of the criticisms about gestational diabetes treatment," Coustan says. "The critics have said that it isn't elevated glucose that leads to negative outcomes, it is obesity or maternal age or some other risk factor. But we were able to control for these risk factors, and glucose was still a major determinant of outcomes." Who Should Be Treated? One important question that remains unanswered is whether the threshold for treating high blood sugar in pregnancy should be lowered and if so, by how much. "Because there was a continuous relationship that was even seen in women with glucose levels considered n Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy

Has your doctor diagnosed you with gestational diabetes (GD or GDM), a form of diabetes that appears only during pregnancy? While it might feel overwhelming at first, it turns out that this pregnancy complication is much more common than you might think. In fact, up to 9.2 percent of pregnant women have GD, according to a 2014 analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Know that with careful monitoring and treatment, it can be managed, and you can have a safe and healthy pregnancy. READ MORE: What causes gestational diabetes? Who's most at risk? What are the symptoms? How is it diagnosed? What are the complications? How can you prevent gestational diabetes? How is it treated? What happens to mom and baby after birth? What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes usually starts between week 24 and week 28 of pregnancy when hormones from the placenta block insulin — a hormone produced in the pancreas that regulates the body's metabolism of fats and carbs and helps the body turn sugar into energy — from doing its job and prevent the body from regulating the increased blood sugar of pregnancy effectively. This causes hyperglycemia (or high levels of sugar in the blood), which can damage the nerves, blood vessels and organs in your body. Who’s most at risk for gestational diabetes? While researchers aren't certain why some women get gestational diabetes while others don’t, they do know that you may be at an increased risk if: You are overweight. Having a BMI of 30 or more going into pregnancy is one of the most common risk factors for gestational diabetes because the extra weight affects insulin's ability to properly keep blood sugar levels in check. You have a higher level of abdominal fat. Recent research published in the American Di Continue reading >>

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Diabetes In Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes does not increase the risk of birth defects or the risk that the baby will be diabetic at birth. Also called gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), this type of diabetes affects between 3% and 20% of pregnant women. It presents with a rise in blood glucose (sugar) levels toward the end of the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. In 90% if cases, it disappears after the birth, but the mother is at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Cause It occurs when cells become resistant to the action of insulin, which is naturally caused during pregnancy by the hormones of the placenta. In some women, the pancreas is not able to secrete enough insulin to counterbalance the effect of these hormones, causing hyperglycemia, then diabetes. Symptoms Pregnant women generally have no apparent diabetes symptoms. Sometimes, these symptoms occur: Unusual fatigue Excessive thirst Increase in the volume and frequency of urination Headaches Importance of screening These symptoms can go undetected because they are very common in pregnant women. Women at risk Several factors increase the risk of developing gestational diabetes: Being over 35 years of age Being overweight Family members with type 2 diabetes Having previously given birth to a baby weighing more than 4 kg (9 lb) Gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy Belonging to a high-risk ethnic group (Aboriginal, Latin American, Asian or African) Having had abnormally high blood glucose (sugar) levels in the past, whether a diagnosis of glucose intolerance or prediabetes Regular use of a corticosteroid medication Suffering from ancanthosis nigricans, a discoloration of the skin, often darkened patches on the neck or under the arms Screening The Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Gui Continue reading >>

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels For Pregnant Women

Healthy Blood Sugar Levels For Pregnant Women

Diabetes that begins during pregnancy is called gestational diabetes. This condition affects 5 to 9 percent of all pregnancies in the United States, and it is becoming more common, according to a July 2009 article in "American Family Physician." Pregnancy also aggravates preexisting type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Blood sugar levels that are consistently too high during pregnancy can cause problems for both mother and infant. Video of the Day Diabetes during pregnancy increases the likelihood of congenital malformations, or birth defects, in infants, particularly if your blood glucose is poorly controlled for the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. High blood sugars also contribute to excessive fetal growth, which makes labor and delivery difficult and increases the likelihood of infant fractures or nerve injuries. Large infants are more likely to be delivered via cesarean section. Newborns of diabetic mothers are at risk for respiratory distress, jaundice and dangerously low blood calcium or glucose levels. Gestational diabetes is diagnosed when your blood sugars exceed specified levels following two glucose tolerance tests. The first test, usually performed between the 24th and 28th week of your pregnancy, involves drinking 50 g of a sugar solution and checking your blood glucose one hour later. If your level is above 130 mg/dL, your doctor will probably order a second glucose tolerance test that measures your blood glucose when you are fasting and then each hour for 2 to 3 hours after the test. A fasting glucose higher than 95 mg/dL, a one-hour level above 180 mg/dL, a two-hour level over 155 mg/dL or a three-hour measurement over 140 mg/dL is diagnostic of gestational diabetes. For pregnant women without diabetes, average fasting glucose levels vary between 69 mg/dL and 75 mg/ Continue reading >>

Pregnancy And Diabetes: When And Why Your Blood Sugar Levels Matter Most

Pregnancy And Diabetes: When And Why Your Blood Sugar Levels Matter Most

The following is an excerpt from the book Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes by Ginger Vieira and Jennifer Smith, CDE & RD There are two things you can definitely expect will be said to you by total strangers, friends, and several family members because you have diabetes: “Doesn’t that mean your baby will be huge?” “So, is your baby probably going to get diabetes, too?” Both questions are rather rude–sure–but both implications are also very far from accurate. Yes: persistent high blood sugars during pregnancy can lead to a larger baby…but people without diabetes have very large babies, too. And people with diabetes have good ol’ fashioned regularly sized babies, too. There is no way to assure the size of a baby at birth. Skinny women can have huge babies just like an overweight woman can give birth to a very small baby. Women who eat a lot during pregnancy can have small babies! Very little of this is in our control. In the end, you can manage your diabetes extremely tightly and still have a larger than average baby because blood sugar control is not the only thing that impacts the size of your baby at birth, and more importantly, a larger baby is not the only or even most important complication a baby can experience due to mom’s elevated blood sugar levels. No: just because you have diabetes definitely does not mean your baby will have diabetes! And guess what, there’s nothing you can do during pregnancy to prevent or reduce your baby’s risk of developing diabetes…at least not that science and research is aware of at this time. So take a very deep breath, mama, because that is not something you can control, and your baby’s risk of developing type 1 diabetes is actually only about 2 percent higher than the risk of a non-diabetic woman’s baby de Continue reading >>

Elevated Blood-sugar Levels In Pregnancy Tied To Baby's Heart-defect Risk

Elevated Blood-sugar Levels In Pregnancy Tied To Baby's Heart-defect Risk

Pregnant women with elevated blood-sugar levels are more likely to have babies with congenital heart defects, even if their blood sugar is below the cutoff for diabetes, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Children’s Health. The study, published online Oct. 12 in JAMA Pediatrics, extends the scope of prior findings on the connection between maternal diabetes and fetal heart defects. It is the first to show the link in women without a diabetes diagnosis. “Diabetes is the tail end of a spectrum of metabolic abnormalities,” said James Priest, MD, the study’s lead author and a postdoctoral scholar in pediatric cardiology. “We already knew that women with diabetes were at significantly increased risk for having children with congenital heart disease. What we now know, thanks to this new research, is that women who have elevated glucose values during pregnancy that don’t meet our diagnostic criteria for diabetes also face an increased risk.” Priest treats patients with congenital heart defects at the Children’s Heart Center at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Pregnancy normally involves metabolic changes that make blood sugar — glucose — more available to the fetus than to the mother, an important adaptation for ensuring that the fetus gets enough nourishment. However, in some women, especially those who are obese or who have a family history of diabetes, these changes progress too far, to the point that the mother develops gestational diabetes. Although the risks of gestational diabetes have been well-studied, less attention has been paid to smaller metabolic changes in pregnancy. Two serious heart defects In the new study, the researchers examined blood samples taken from 277 California wome Continue reading >>

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