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Does High Blood Sugar Affect Fetal Movement

Understanding Gestational Diabetes: Glucose Monitoring

Understanding Gestational Diabetes: Glucose Monitoring

Fetal Monitoring, Gestational Diabetes, Integrative Medicine, Pregnancy and Birth, Weight Management What is self blood glucose monitoring? Once you are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes, you and your health care providers will want to know more about your day-to-day blood sugar levels. It is important to know how your exercise habits and eating patterns affect your blood sugars. Also, as your pregnancy progresses, the placenta will release more of the hormones that work against insulin. Testing your blood sugar level at important times during the day will help determine if proper diet and weight gain have kept blood sugar levels normal or if extra insulin is needed to help keep the fetus protected. Self blood glucose monitoring is done by using a special device to obtain a drop of your blood and test it for your blood sugar level. Your doctor or other health care provider will explain the procedure to you. Make sure that you are shown how to do the testing before attempting it on your own. Some items you may use to monitor your blood sugar levels are: Lancet–a disposable, sharp needle-like sticker for pricking the finger to obtain a drop of blood. Lancet device–a springloaded finger sticking device. Test strip–a chemically treated strip to which a drop of blood is applied. Color chart–a chart used to compare against the color on the test strip for blood sugar level. Glucose meter–a device which “reads” the test strip and gives you a digital number value. Your health care provider can advise you where to obtain the self-monitoring equipment in your area. You may want to inquire if any places rent or loan glucose meters, since it is likely you won't be needing it after your baby is born. How often and when should I test? You may need to test your blo Continue reading >>

Pregnancy And Type 1 Diabetes

Pregnancy And Type 1 Diabetes

When you are pregnant, your ideal scenario is to not gain too much weight, pass each milestone without worry, and have a safe, fast delivery that results in a healthy baby. When you have Type 1 diabetes, however, the ideal pregnancy may seem unattainable. Lisa Pink, a new mother, was able to manage her pregnancy along with her diabetes to have a healthy baby girl. She summed up her experience: “It’s a lot of work. However, it’s also worth it when you hold your healthy, perfect baby!” Before conception Lisa learned she had Type 1 diabetes when she was 25 years old. She didn’t think about pregnancy and starting a family until she reached her mid-30s. Lisa didn’t know any mothers with Type 1 diabetes, but two of her friends knew of women who had managed their diabetes throughout successful pregnancies. Encouraged, Lisa went to her doctor a year before she and her husband began trying to become pregnant, which is highly recommended. A woman with Type 1 diabetes should attain healthy blood glucose levels before conception. This is important for the baby’s health during pregnancy but also before conception. The National Institutes of Health recommends that a woman with Type 1 diabetes have blood glucose levels in the target range of 80 to 110 mg/dl before eating and 100 to 155 mg/dl one to two hours after eating for three to six months before becoming pregnant. During pregnancy, the recommended target blood glucose range is 60 to 99 mg/dl before eating and 100 to 129 mg/dl one to two hours after eating. Safe sugar Meeting these target ranges will help decrease the chance of too much sugar being passed to your baby. Too much sugar may cause a fetus to grow too quickly or possibly harm the early development of organs. Having a large baby was one of Lisa’s concer Continue reading >>

Reduced Movements With Gestational Diabetes

Reduced Movements With Gestational Diabetes

We see a lot of questions in our Facebook support group about reduced movements with gestational diabetes. Movements of your baby are a sign that everything is well. If you experience reduced movements or a change in your baby's movements, including increased movements then you should seek medical advice immediately. KICKS COUNT Kicks Count is a wonderful charity which provides information and support for parents and medical professionals around baby's movements in pregnancy. Kicks Count have a page specifically on 'Your Baby's Movements' which explains lots of information and FAQs around monitoring your baby's movements. Kicks Count say: Reduced fetal movement can be a sign that the baby is in distress although this is not the only cause. 2 out of 3 mums who have a stillbirth say they noticed their baby’s movements slow down beforehand. It is therefore important that all cases of reduced movement are reported to your midwife or maternity unit. Please visit the Kicks Count website and Facebook page for support around baby's movements in pregnancy. You can download the Kicks Count leaflet and they also have a new App which helps you keep track of your baby's movements for use on Android and Apple devices. Gestational diabetes diet and changes in movements Questions in our Facebook support group around changes in baby's movements are often linked to diet. Some mothers find a change in movements once they start the gestational diabetes diet and reduce their sugar and carb intake. Others mention reduced movements when having hypos (low blood sugar levels) and increased movements when they have hypers (high blood sugar levels). What we eat and drink is passed through to the baby and so different foods and drinks can cause a reaction in baby's movements. However, how do we Continue reading >>

Fetal Movements In Pregnancy

Fetal Movements In Pregnancy

Fetal movements refer to the muscular movements of the developing baby inside the mother's womb. These may be either reflex movements or elicited in response to noise or touch, at first. Types of fetal movement All fetal movements are not alike. At first the mother may feel fluttering movements, which later turn to stronger kicks, and then she notices the baby squirming, rolling or wriggling. There are also hiccup movements. Thus fetal movements are classified as: Weak Strong Rolling Development of fetal movements over time Before 9 weeks, all the limbs move together, as the nerves are still developing. The embryo arches its head and back. At 9 weeks yawns and stretches are visible on ultrasound. At 10 weeks from fertilization, you may see the limbs moving separately, and startle movements. At 11 weeks the baby can open its mouth and suck its fingers. By 12 weeks, it is possible to watch the baby swallowing amniotic fluid. By 13 weeks, the baby vigorously moves arms and legs, in kicks and jabs, and can also respond to skin touch. At the 14th – 20th week, a great event called quickening occurs. This is the first perception of fetal movement by the mother. Usually felt around 18-20 weeks in first pregnancies, it can be as early as 14 weeks in later pregnancies due to the increased sensitivity of the more relaxed abdominal muscles. From the 20th - 36 weeks, all types of fetal movements are felt – weak, strong and rolling movements. Tha baby moves all the joints and the spine, ensuring proper joint development. The pattern of movement changes, with weak movements becoming gradually reduced over time, while strong and rolling movements become more frequent. By 28 weeks, all babies show the startle reflex. Here the baby brings both arms and legs towards the chest when sud Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes (diabetes During Pregnancy)

Gestational Diabetes (diabetes During Pregnancy)

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. Diabetes means your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Your body uses glucose for energy. Too much glucose in your blood is not good for you or your baby. Gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed during late pregnancy. If you are diagnosed with diabetes earlier in your pregnancy, you may have had diabetes before you became pregnant. Treating gestational diabetes can help both you and your baby stay healthy. You can protect your baby and yourself by taking action right away to control your blood glucose levels. If you have gestational diabetes, a health care team will likely be part of your care. In addition to your obstetrician-gynecologist, or OB/GYN—the doctor who will deliver your baby—your team might include a doctor who treats diabetes, a diabetes educator, and a dietitian to help you plan meals. For Women with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes If you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are thinking about having a baby, talk with your doctor before you get pregnant. Untreated or poorly controlled diabetes can cause serious problems for your baby. More information is provided in the NIDDK health topic, What I need to know about Preparing for Pregnancy if I Have Diabetes or call 1–800–860–8747 and request a copy. Gestational diabetes happens when your body can't make enough insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas, an organ located behind your stomach. Insulin helps your body use glucose for energy and helps control your blood glucose levels. During pregnancy, your body makes more hormones and goes through other changes, such as weight gain. These changes cause your body's cells to use insulin less effectively, a condition called ins Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

PDF Format Gestational Diabetes What is gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is diabetes mellitus that develops in women for the first time during pregnancy. Some women found to have gestational diabetes actually may have had mild diabetes before pregnancy that was not diagnosed. What is diabetes mellitus? Diabetes mellitus (also called "diabetes") is a condition that causes high levels of glucose in the blood (see the FAQ Diabetes and Women). Glucose is a sugar that is the body’s main source of energy. Health problems can occur when glucose levels are too high. What causes gestational diabetes? Gestational diabetes is caused by a change in the way a woman’s body responds to insulin during pregnancy. Insulin is a hormone. It moves glucose out of the blood and into the body’s cells where it can be turned into energy. During pregnancy, a woman’s cells naturally become slightly more resistant to insulin’s effects. This change is designed to increase the mother’s blood glucose level to make more nutrients available to the baby. The mother’s body makes more insulin to keep the blood glucose level normal. In a small number of women, even this increase is not enough to keep their blood glucose levels in the normal range. As a result, they develop gestational diabetes. Will I be tested for gestational diabetes? All pregnant women are screened for gestational diabetes. You may be asked about your medical history and risk factors or you may have a blood test to measure the level of glucose in your blood. This test usually is done between 24 weeks and 28 weeks of pregnancy. It may be done earlier if you have risk factors. If I develop gestational diabetes, will I always have diabetes mellitus? For most women, gestational diabetes goes away after childbirth. How Continue reading >>

What Might Go Wrong In The Third Trimester?

What Might Go Wrong In The Third Trimester?

Weeks 28 through 40 bring the arrival of the third trimester. This exciting time is definitely the home stretch for expectant mothers, but it also presents a time where complications can occur. Just as each trimester can bring its own challenges, so can the third trimester. Prenatal care is especially important in the third trimester because the types of complications that can arise at this time are more easily managed if detected early. You’ll likely start visiting your obstetrician every other week from 28 to 36 weeks, then once per week until your little one arrives. According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as 9.2 percent of pregnant women have gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs because the hormonal changes of pregnancy make it more difficult for your body to effectively use insulin. When insulin cannot do its job of lowering blood sugar to normal levels, the result is abnormally high glucose (blood sugar) levels. Most women have no symptoms. While this condition is usually not dangerous for the mother, it poses several problems for the fetus. Specifically, macrosomia (excessive growth) of the fetus can increase the likelihood of cesarean delivery and the risk of birth injuries. When glucose levels are well-controlled, macrosomia is less likely. At the beginning of the third trimester (between weeks 24 and 28), all women should get tested for gestational diabetes. During the glucose tolerance test (also known as the screening glucose challenge test), you will consume a drink that contains a certain amount of glucose (sugar) and at a specified time later your doctor will test your blood sugar levels. For the oral glucose tolerance test, your blood sugar levels are checked after you have fasted for at least eight hours and you’ve drank Continue reading >>

Fetal Movement Counts

Fetal Movement Counts

There is a simple way to check your baby's health at home or anywhere, called a fetal movement count. Every baby has normal sleep and awake times, so your baby will have periods of both quiet and active time. A movement may be a kick, stretch, turn or flip. Tip Your baby might be quite active while you are at work, but that may not be a very relaxing, easy place for you to count movements. Try resting in bed at home and counting kicks and movements there. Your baby won't slow down and become less active before birth. The movements may change - as your baby grows, there is less room to maneuver - but the frequency of movement should not decrease. By keeping track of your baby's movements for each day during the third trimester, you will get to know your baby's activity pattern. This can help alert you if your baby is not feeling well. A total of 10 or more distinct movements in 2 hours suggests that your baby is doing well. If your baby is moving less than usual, this may be a sign that he or she is under some stress or that a problem may be developing. If you are worried and do not have at least five movements in 1 hours, call your health care provider. When to count Once a day, during the third trimester of your pregnancy, record your baby's activity. Choose the time of day your baby is the most active, and begin timing fetal movements at about the same time every day. If you smoke and have not been able to quit during your pregnancy, try not to smoke for at least 1 hour before you start counting. (Your baby gets less oxygen and food because nicotine from cigarettes tightens up your blood vessels.) How to count Choose a quiet place where you can focus on your baby's movements without being distracted. Lie down on your side or sit in a comfortable chair. When you count Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes Complications

Gestational Diabetes Complications

Most Gestational diabetes complications can be avoided if you keep a tight rein on the management of your diabetes. Gestational diabetes is just as dangerous as any of the other types of diabetes, even though it is short-lived (only lasting during gestation). Considering that it is not only your own health, but also the health of your unborn child that are affected by it. From this point of view, it must be seen as even more serious as the other types of diabetes. The development of your baby during the pregnancy will determine largely the lifelong health of your child. This will of course be determined on how well you've managed to avoid the gestational diabetes complications. It really is up to you. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can be quite dangerous, as it can cause severe problems for you and your baby. These problems are highlighted in the gestational diabetes complications listed below. Most women however, who have gestational diabetes, deliver healthy babies. You can also be counted amongst them, all it takes is to manage your disease with care. It really is up to you. The dangers of gestational diabetes complications does not lie so much with the fact that your body does not control its sugar levels adequately. The danger is more in these elevated blood glucose levels. You can and must assist your body to keep your blood sugar levels within the normal range. If your blood sugar are kept at normal levels, then you or your baby will not fall victim to gestational diabetes complications. How can your Baby be Affected by Gestational Diabetes Complications? When you have gestational diabetes, your baby could be at increased risk for these gestational diabetes complications: Fetal macrosomia. Excessive growth. Extra glucose will cross the placenta, which triggers y Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus And Pregnancy

Diabetes Mellitus And Pregnancy

Practice Essentials Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as glucose intolerance of variable degree with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. A study by Stuebe et al found this condition to be associated with persistent metabolic dysfunction in women at 3 years after delivery, separate from other clinical risk factors. [1] Infants of mothers with preexisting diabetes mellitus experience double the risk of serious injury at birth, triple the likelihood of cesarean delivery, and quadruple the incidence of newborn intensive care unit (NICU) admission. Gestational diabetes mellitus accounts for 90% of cases of diabetes mellitus in pregnancy, while preexisting type 2 diabetes accounts for 8% of such cases. Screening for diabetes mellitus during pregnancy Gestational diabetes The following 2-step screening system for gestational diabetes is currently recommended in the United States: Alternatively, for high-risk women or in areas in which the prevalence of insulin resistance is 5% or higher (eg, the southwestern and southeastern United States), a 1-step approach can be used by proceeding directly to the 100-g, 3-hour OGTT. The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for gestational diabetes mellitus after 24 weeks of pregnancy. The recommendation applies to asymptomatic women with no previous diagnosis of type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus. [2, 3] The recommendation does not specify whether the 1-step or 2-step screening approach would be preferable. Type 1 diabetes The disease is typically diagnosed during an episode of hyperglycemia, ketosis, and dehydration It is most commonly diagnosed in childhood or adolescence; the disease is rarely diagnosed during pregnancy Patients diagnosed during pregnancy most often present with unexpected Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes During Pregnancy

Type 2 Diabetes During Pregnancy

There’s lots of good news these days for pregnant women with type 2 diabetes (a condition in which the body doesn’t respond as it should to insulin). In fact, with the right medical help and diligent self-care, you have about the same excellent chances of having a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby as any other expectant mom. The key to managing type 2 diabetes during pregnancy? Achieving normal blood glucose levels six months before conception and maintaining those levels throughout the nine months following it. So if you’ve been on top of keeping your diabetes under control, it’s more important than ever to continue your routine now that there are two of you on board. Here's what to think about if you're heading into pregnancy with type 2 diabetes: Your care team How does diabetes affect babies during pregnancy? If you have type 2 diabetes, you already have higher levels of glucose circulating in your blood; issues can come up if your blood sugar levels aren’t well monitored and managed. That’s because extra sugar can be transferred to baby while you're expecting — and a fetus that’s served too much glucose reacts by producing an increased supply of insulin (which can result in a too-large baby and other complications). READ MORE: Gestational Diabetes Finding your pregnancy and diabetes care team Be prepared: You’ll have a lot more prenatal visits than other expectant moms and will probably be given more doctors’ orders to follow (all for a good cause). So it’s a good idea to get your medical team in place as soon as you think you might want to get pregnant. The OB or midwife who supervises your pregnancy should have plenty of experience caring for diabetic moms-to-be, and he or she should work together with the doctor who has been in charge Continue reading >>

37 Weeks Pregnant With Gestational Diabetes

37 Weeks Pregnant With Gestational Diabetes

By week 37 of pregnancy, a woman has likely been managing her gestational diabetes for about nine weeks. Blood tests for the condition are performed at the beginning of the third trimester, around 28 weeks. Although gestational diabetes does place women in a higher pregnancy risk category, the condition can be managed with careful vigilance. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that between two and 10 percent of women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes annually. The ACOG defines gestational diabetes as excess levels of glucose in the blood. Excess glucose occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin to convert glucose into energy. The condition comes and goes with pregnancy. Women who develop gestational diabetes with one pregnancy are more likely to develop it in subsequent pregnancies. The ACOG says that up to one half of them will develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Diet, exercise and, occasionally, medication are key to gestational diabetes control. Patients need to avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine and maintain a regimen of either swimming, walking or prenatal yoga. Insulin shots are sometimes necessary. If gestational diabetes is not controlled, serious complications may occur. They include premature birth; preeclampsia, or abnormally high maternal blood pressure; respiratory distress syndrome, or difficulties with baby’s breathing at birth; birth defects; and macrosomia, or an extremely large baby. According to Midwifery Today, the baby can go into diabetic shock and die during birth in cases of improper disease management. By 37 weeks, women with gestational diabetes will be checked weekly. Because of the risks of preeclampsia and macrosomia, these women have a slightly higher chance of delivering their ba Continue reading >>

Baby Obesity Research: No Need To Panic

Baby Obesity Research: No Need To Panic

Babies are to be “treated in the womb for obesity”, according to the Daily Mail. The newspaper said that overweight mothers-to-be will be given a diabetes pill “to cut the risk of having a fat child”. The news is based on an ongoing study to find out if giving the diabetes drug metformin to obese pregnant women can reduce the risk of their babies being born overweight. This is of interest as obese women tend to have poorer control of their blood sugar, a problem that metformin can help regulate in people with diabetes. If exposed to excess blood sugar in the womb, growing babies may be born with excess birth weight, which has been linked to difficulties during birth and illness in later life. While the Mail’s front-page presentation of this research might make this research seem frightening or frivolous, it should be noted that metformin is already used to help some pregnant women control their blood sugar and prevent complications. The study has also gone through various safety checks to ensure it does not pose any significant risks to either mother or baby and that it could be of potential medical benefit. This research is neither new nor finished yet, and it is unclear why the Daily Mail has chosen to cover it. This study began in 2010 and will run until 2014, when its results will be revealed. Only then will we be able to see if the research is truly newsworthy. What is metformin? Metformin is currently used by patients with type 2 diabetes to control their blood sugar levels. It is commonly the first choice of medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, particularly in overweight and obese patients. In type 2 diabetes, patients build up too much glucose (sugar) in their blood, which can make them very ill. This happens either because they do not make Continue reading >>

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a kind of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. (Gestation is another word for pregnancy.) GDM usually develops between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy and will probably go away when the baby is born. Our bodies use the food we eat to get the sugar we need for energy. Insulin is a chemical made by our pancreas. It helps the sugar leave the blood and go into our body cells, where it is used as a kind of fuel. When this happens the way it should, the level of sugar in the blood goes down and our bodies have the energy for a full and active life. In people with diabetes, this system In people with diabetes, this system doesn't work. When you have diabetes, your body can't use the energy from the food you eat. Sugar stays in the blood instead of going into the cells of the body. Who gets GDM? Women who are over 30 years old, are obese, or have a family history of diabetes have the greatest chance of getting GDM. I But it can happen to any pregnant woman! GDM usually can't be prevented. If you have had GDM in one pregnancy, you are likely to have it again in later pregnancies. GDM occurs in up to 3% (3 of 100) of all pregnant women, but it is much more common in: Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans. How do I know if I have GDM? GDM usually has no symptoms. That's why all pregnant women should be checked for it. A blood test is the only way to be sure you have it. If you have had GDM in an earlier pregnancy, your doctor should test for it at your first visit for this pregnancy. If you have never had GDM before, your doctor should test for it between the 24th and 28th weeks of your pregnancy. How is the test done? When you are checked for GDM, you will be asked to drink a sugary drink and have a blood test Continue reading >>

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

Understanding Gestational Diabetes

Introduction Approximately 3 to 5 percent of all pregnant women in the United States are diagnosed as having gestational diabetes. These women and their families have many questions about this disorder. Some of the most frequently asked questions are: What is gestational diabetes and how did I get it? How does it differ from other kinds of diabetes? Will it hurt my baby? Will my baby have diabetes? What can I do to control gestational diabetes? Will I need a special diet? Will gestational diabetes change the way or the time my baby is delivered? Will I have diabetes in the future? This brochure will address these and many other questions about diet, exercise, measurement of blood sugar levels, and general medical and obstetric care of women with gestational diabetes. It must be emphasized that these are general guidelines and only your health care professional(s) can tailor a program specific to your needs. You should feel free to discuss any concerns you have with your doctor or other health care provider, as no one knows more about you and the condition of your pregnancy. What is gestational diabetes and what causes it? Diabetes (actual name is diabetes mellitus) of any kind is a disorder that prevents the body from using food properly. Normally, the body gets its major source of energy from glucose, a simple sugar that comes from foods high in simple carbohydrates (e.g., table sugar or other sweeteners such as honey, molasses, jams, and jellies, soft drinks, and cookies), or from the breakdown of complex carbohydrates such as starches (e.g., bread, potatoes, and pasta). After sugars and starches are digested in the stomach, they enter the blood stream in the form of glucose. The glucose in the blood stream becomes a potential source of energy for the entire body, sim Continue reading >>

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