Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that usually develops in women during pregnancy. This is also one of the most common pregnancy complications and affects approximately six percent of all pregnant women. You might be at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes if you have suffered from high blood pressure or any other medical complications in the past. Besides that, women who have given birth to a stillborn baby or to a baby with birth defects in their earlier pregnancy are also prone to the health condition.

Sometimes, women who have given birth to a large baby (more than 9 pounds) earlier also experience gestational diabetes during their next pregnancy. Experts also say that if you have developed gestational diabetes in your previous pregnancy, then you might be at a greater risk of having the same condition again. You should also note that women who are obese and the ones who have a family history of diabetes might also develop gestational diabetes at some stage during their pregnancy.

There is no need to panic though, because approximately half the women with gestational diabetes usually have zero risk factors. Still, you need to consult with a doctor at our free women’s clinic as soon as you experience any diabetic symptoms during pregnancy, as gestational diabetes can bring serious complications for your baby if not treated properly in time.

For instance, babies of women with untreated gestational diabetes may become too large, which in turn increases the number of problems during delivery. Additionally, the arms, shoulders, and nerves of your baby may be injured during the delivery if gestational diabetes is left untreated. In addition to that, if you are having a large baby, then you will need a cesarean section and other medical assistance during delivery.

Babies of mothers with untreated gestational diabetes often experience a sudden blood sugar drop right after delivery. When this happens, health care providers at our free women’s clinic will have to give a sugar solution to the baby through a needle. However, the chances of birth defects are actually significantly less, because most of the pregnant women develop gestational diabetes after around 20 weeks of becoming pregnant, which is after the full development of the fetus.

Yet again, the risk of birth defects is higher in babies of women with higher blood sugar levels in the first 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. So get in touch with the care providers at our low income medical clinic and learn how to deal with gestational diabetes before things get worse.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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