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Pregnancy Complications

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Diet Question
By Barbara Parker, RN, ARNP, CNM
Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse-Midwife

Q. I've been on a gestational diabetes diet since 13 weeks, and it has been great controlling my sugar. About two weeks ago my levels started to rise a bit . . . not too often outside of the acceptable ranges, but occasionally. I've been having weekly biophysical profiles and the estimated weight of the baby was 4 pounds 11 ounces last week. When I visited my doctor last week, he wasn't very concerned. I'm wondering if there is a point in the pregnancy when I won't need to worry about the levels anymore. I'm thinking ahead if the levels stay consistently above the range, at which time insulin might be in order, but since I'm so close to the end, would it really be necessary?

A. Sorry, but you need to be vigilant to the very end. The reason for that is the baby will get high doses of sugar from you, but makes its own insulin to deal with it. If it is accustomed to a "high sugar" environment, it cranks out quite a lot of insulin--then when its born and its sugar fix is gone, it takes a bit for its body to adjust--and the baby will continue to make insulin, lowering its blood sugar to dangerous levels.

Babies are interesting creatures. They respond to stress (physical, etc.) in a classic way--they stop breathing. So, if a baby's blood sugar drops too low, it stops breathing--not a good idea!!

So, STAY ON YOUR RESTRICTED CARBS!!!! It's really important for both you and your baby.

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