What is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM)?
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that develops only during pregnancy. Diabetes means your blood glucose/sugar, is too high. Too much glucose in your blood is not good for you or your baby.
What Causes Gestational Diabetes?
During pregnancy, associated changes, hormones and weight gain cause your body cells to use insulin less effectively. Insulin is a hormone made in your pancreas that helps control your blood glucose levels. Gestational diabetes happens when your body cannot make enough insulin.
What Are My Chances of Getting GDM?
Your chances of getting GDM are higher if you
- Are overweight (greater than 90kg)
- Have had GDM before
- Have given birth to a baby weighing more than 4kg
- Have a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
- Have prediabetes, meaning your blood glucose levels are higher
How Can I Lower My Chances of getting GDM?
Before getting pregnant, you can lower your chances of getting gestational diabetes by
- Losing extra weight
- Increasing your physical activity level before you get pregnant
- Once you are pregnant, you should not try to lose weight. You need to gain some weight for your baby to be healthy. However, gaining too much weight is bad.
When Will I be Tested for GDM?
You will probably be tested for gestational diabetes between weeks 24 and 28 of your pregnancy.
Culled from Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch