Linnet Steinman gives advice to patients recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
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Gestational diabetes can be dangerous to the baby if the blood sugars are not controlled. We have excellent results here in this center. We watch very, very carefully. The mother’s watch their blood sugars very carefully. They watch their meal plan very carefully. They’re encouraged to be as active as they’re able to be in the realm of pregnancy. And if needed, they are requested to take some medicine to keep those blood sugars in a very, very tightly, controlled range. If we are unable to control those blood sugars, what happens is the glucose will pass over into the baby and that can cause large babies. It can cause problems with early delivery, pre-mature delivery. It can cause problems with the baby post-partum with a very, very low blood sugar so the baby has a blood sugar of maybe 20 or 30 and now, the baby is not able to go to the mother and bond after delivery. The baby has to be taken away so that they can get that blood sugar back up. Planning is going to be critical once someone is diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Monitoring blood sugars is going to be the only way to asses whether or not the mother has a need for a change in their meal plan if they have a need for medication, its just going to be critical. Medication is something that’s really quite scary for a lot of pregnant women because insulin is given by injection and that is the most preferred medication here at our center. We do use a small amount of glyburide, which is a pill but we find that the insulin is much better, tolerated. We are able to titrate. We are able to dose the insulin more appropriately for our patients. But it is very frightening and to know that what mothers do when the baby is in utero can affect the outcome of the health of the baby.