High sugar in pregnancy: implications for the baby and expectant mother

Life tips with Diabetes, Lifestyle, Food & Drinks.

High sugar in pregnancy: implications for the baby and expectant mother

From the first day of conception and throughout the entire perinatal period, a woman’s body functions in a completely different way.

At this time, metabolic processes can fail, and cells can lose insulin sensitivity. As a result, glucose is not fully absorbed, and its concentration in the body increases greatly.

This threatens the development of very serious complications. So, what is the danger of high sugar during pregnancy?

The rate of glucose in the blood in pregnant women

Indicators of carbohydrate metabolism in pregnant women have their own standards.

For the first time, a woman takes a blood test in the early stages, and the indicator (on an empty stomach) should be within the range of 4.1-5.5 mmol / l.

An increase in values ​​to 7.0 mmol / l or more means that the expectant mother has developed threatening diabetes (manifest), that is, it was detected during the perinatal period. This means that after childbirth, the disease will remain, and it will have to be treated.

When the blood sugar values ​​(also on an empty stomach) correspond to 5.1-7.0 mmol / l, the woman has gestational diabetes. This disease is inherent only in pregnant women, and after childbirth, as a rule, the symptoms disappear.

If the sugar is high, what does it mean?

The pancreas (PZH) is responsible for this indicator.

The insulin produced by the pancreas helps glucose (in food) to be absorbed by cells, and its content in the blood, accordingly, decreases.

Pregnant women have their own special hormones. Their effect is exactly the opposite of insulin – they increase glucose values. When PZH stops fully performing its work, an excess concentration of glucose occurs.

It penetrates the placenta into the blood of the fetus and loads it (not yet fully formed) pancreas. She begins to vigorously create insulin, quickly assimilate glucose and convert it into fat. As a result, the child is actively gaining weight.

The accelerated metabolism of the fetus requires adequate oxygen supply, which is provided by the placenta. But her blood vessels are damaged by high sugar, and the unborn baby is critically lacking in oxygen.

Associated symptoms

If the carbohydrate balance in the blood of a pregnant woman slightly exceeds the permissible values, she does not experience any negative manifestations. Often, pathology is detected only during the next visit to the doctor.

But if glucose shows high values ​​for a long enough time, the expectant mother will notice the following symptoms:

  • thirst torments constantly. No matter how much a woman drinks liquids, I want more and more;
  • the urge to urinate becomes more frequent;
  • vision falls;
  • often want to eat something sweet;
  • feeling unwell.

If at least two of the listed symptoms are detected, you should inform the doctor about them.

You don’t need to do anything yourself, you can harm not only yourself, but also the baby.

The risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus in the expectant mother has a very negative effect on health, complicates pregnancy, since it contributes to the development of serious pathologies.

This is pyelonephritis, heart disease or retinal detachment.

The biggest risk in diabetes is the risk of miscarriage. Spontaneous abortions with existing diabetes (according to statistics) occur in a third of women in labor. The reason is early aging of the placenta. Diabetes destroys her blood vessels, and the normal access of oxygen to the fetus stops. 

Sugar disease threatens the development of late toxicosis. The reason is low estrogen production due to damage to the placenta and ovaries. With diabetes, this picture is observed in half of the patients. For comparison: in healthy women – only 3% of pregnancies.

Polyhydramnios (60% of cases), twisting of the umbilical cord, breech presentation of the fetus are often diagnosed. Such abnormalities in the course of pregnancy threaten to have a cesarean section.

Consequences of high sugar during pregnancy for a baby

Diabetes in the mother threatens the child with a whole range of damages. Medicine calls this diabetic fetopathy.

The most common deviation is the overweight of the child . At the time of delivery, the baby becomes very large – more than 4 kg.

This is very traumatic for him, for example, displacement of the cervical vertebrae during childbirth may occur. In addition, large babies whose mothers had diabetes are themselves at risk.

In the absence of proper treatment, other defects also occur: an incorrect skeleton of a child, congenital pathologies of the brain, heart, kidneys, and underdeveloped lungs.

Possible complications during childbirth

Diabetes in a pregnant woman has an extremely negative effect on the membranes. The result is polyhydramnios.

If the child has taken an incorrect (for example, transverse) position before delivery, the umbilical cord may be twisted. There is a risk of fetal hypoxia. Usually, in order to avoid complications, a woman is prepared for a caesarean section.

Gestational diabetes can cause type 2 diabetes. Therefore, such women need to control their sugar all the time (to be examined every 3 years).

What to do?

Diet features and healthy foods

It is known that a diet for sugar sickness is a basic condition for the normalization of glucose indicators.

This means that a pregnant woman with such a pathology is strongly advised to follow the following rules:

  • learn to eat fractionally: eat a little, but up to 6 times a day. A serving should not exceed 250 g;
  • you can’t go hungry;
  • balance your diet, since the child must eat well;
  • give up sweets altogether or eat very little;
  • be able to determine the GI of products;
  • replace desserts with fruit or honey;
  • drink enough fluids per day;
  • the last meal should be 3 hours before bedtime.

It is good if you agree on all the nuances of the diet with your doctor.

Physical activity

The future man is in vital need of oxygen, so it is important for mom to be outdoors as often as possible.

Her metabolism will improve significantly if she takes regular walks.

And exercise will help remove unnecessary calories, and, consequently, kilograms. Exercise of any type will help insulin perform its function more actively, because fat prevents it from working normally.

No need to torment yourself with exhausting workouts and everyday gym visits. Walking quickly or going to the pool is enough. 2-3 hour workload per week is quite enough.

If the expectant mother has not been involved in sports before, she should start with small workouts, gradually increasing the load to moderate.

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