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    When it comes to pregnancy, prenatal care seeks to offer the best conditions for fetal development and maintenance of the health of the parties involved. But, after all, how can pregnancy and diabetes be associated?

    There is a condition known as gestational diabetes and, although it is not the most observe in the population as a whole, it can affect up to 14% of individuals .

    Regardless of this, it is essential to pay attention to detect and understand this condition, in order to avoid the complications that may occur before it. So, read on and find out more about it!

    Understand what gestational diabetes is

    Target blood sugar level for pregnant woman vector. Different glucose normal balance during pregnancy in different time

    During pregnancy, the female organism undergoes several physical, metabolic and physiological changes that enable fetal development. As a result, there may also be transient conditions that raise concern, one of which is gestational diabetes .

    First of all, it is necessary to make clear the difference between this type of diabetes when we compare it to the others. For the diagnosis to hold, the woman must not have previous diabetes, that is, she must have develope the condition after fertilization.

    However, generally, this is a transient condition, which ends after delivery. Although it is widely observed, it must be pointed out that gestational diabetes is a risk factor for the later development of some other type of condition.


    Now let’s go back to the changes that occur in female metabolism to justify the emergence of diabetes. This is mainly due to two factors:

    1. production of hyperglycemic substances in the placenta;
    2. increase in enzymes that break down insulin.
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    Analyzing the two situations, the balance obtained is the increase in circulating glucose in the bloodstream. In addition, its entry is not blocked by the placental barrier, and it can also reach high levels in the fetus.

    In fact, some factors may increase the predisposition to develop diabetes during pregnancy. Advanced maternal age is one of them, but it is worth mentioning that food also plays an important role.

    This is because obesity associated with excessive weight gain in pregnancy increases the supply of glucose, which becomes even more complicated with excess central fat, that is, related to the viscera.


    Complications of this condition are observe in both the mother and the fetus. Below is a list of some of them:

    • cesarean delivery route;
    • large for gestational age (LGA) newborn;
    • neonatal hypoglycemia.


    Given this, it is possible to understand the need for an early diagnosis, right? The main way to do this is to carry out prenatal care with a qualified professional. The exams required in the period can identify in the glycemic levels whether or not there are changes, which are more detected in the second or third trimester.

    Know what care to take during the frame

    Once the diagnosis is made in a timely manner, procedures for blood glucose regulation are initiated. The care is basically the samein other types of diabetes, prioritizing the change of habits and leaving the drug intervention only for cases in which the first procedure does not present significant results.

    Next, check out in more detail what care is needed!


    1. Maintain a healthy diet

    Starting with food, it is important to say that a food plan that is restrictive of nutrients should not be adopted. In pregnancy, the diet must provide supplies for both the mother and the fetus, also enabling adequate weight gain.

    Therefore, the 3 main meals of the day should be: breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to them, 3 snacks should be held, 1 in each period of the day. The important thing is to achieve a balance, without going too long without eating, but also without ingesting food excessively.

    According to the Society of Diabetes , the ideal is to consume:

    • vegetables on demand;
    • 1 portion of beans or oilseeds;
    • 2 protein servings (meat or eggs);
    • 3 portions of vegetables that are roots;
    • 3 servings of fruit;
    • 3 servings of milk and dairy products;
    • 5 servings of carbs.

    As seen, carbohydrate is not prohibited. In fact, its inclusion in the diet is essential, but attention should be paid to the amount ingested. In this case, follow the professional guidance passed on individually.

    2. Practice physical exercises

    Contrary to what many think, the practice of physical activities is really indicated for pregnant women with diabetes. Obviously, we emphasize that the exercises must respect the appropriate obstetric contraindications. As examples of practices, we have:

    • hiking;
    • water aerobics;
    • pilates;
    • swimming.

    As a benefit, a significant decrease in blood glucose is notice. But attention: the practice should be regular, reaching the goal of 4 to 5 times a week and lasting approximately 30 minutes each day.

    3. Look for an expert

    Finally, always keep follow-up with the specialist. In addition to diagnosing the conditions and guiding the conduct, he will also perform the analysis of the results obtained with them.

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    If there is a food change for 2 weeks and glycemic levels remain high, for example, this is the time to start pharmacological treatment. On this occasion, it is necessary to choose the drug well, in order not to cause adverse and side effects that harm the fetus and/or the mother.

    Understand the implications of gestational diabetes during and after childbirth

    Understanding the care needed during pregnancy, we will now understand what implications gestational diabetes causes in childbirth. The first thing is to make it clear that, given adequate metabolic control, it is possible to wait for the spontaneous evolution of childbirth.

    Thinking about the delivery itself, diabetes itself does not determine whether it will be a cesarean or normal delivery, this decision being the doctor’s responsibility. It is only important to keep your blood sugar between 70 and 120 mg/dl.

    In the postpartum period, it is necessary to identify whether the levels will remain high. If they are not maintained, insulin can be stopped. In addition, breastfeeding should continue, as this is an excellent practice for both mother and baby.

    As much as they seem different situations, pregnancy and diabetes can be associate, generating a condition that puts the lives of mother and child at risk. However, a good prenatal care can lead to good practices for diagnosis and treatment. Be sure to look for a good professional to accompany the period. Even if diabetes is not there, there are several other important conditions that can impact a successful pregnancy.

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