Gestational Diabetes - Oakdale ObGyn
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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) occurs when you have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, which can be harmful for you and your baby. Some women develop gestational diabetes mellitus during pregnancy.

If you develop GDM, our ObGyn doctors and nurse midwives are committed to helping you get back to healthy. With you, we’ll queue up next steps to help you manage this condition. This may include simple changes to your lifestyle and a referral to our registered dietitian.

Read the Article: “What You Should Know About Gestational Diabetes”

If you learn you have gestational diabetes during your pregnancy, rest assured we’ll do our best to help you manage this condition holistically. Our doctors, nurse midwives, and registered dietician work together to keep you and your baby healthy. Read this article on gestational diabetes management to learn about our approach.

Meet with Our Registered Dietitian

We’re committed to you and the health of your baby. If you have been told you have GDM, meet with our registered dietitian to develop a balanced approach to eating and living well before, during and after the birth of your child.

Your body needs glucose (sugar) for energy, but too much glucose may be harmful for you or your baby. Left untreated, diabetes puts new mothers at risk for serious health concerns. Moms-to-be with gestational diabetes typically don’t notice any signs of this condition.

Similar to other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes means that your blood sugar is too high. Why? When we eat, our bodies break down food into glucose (or sugar). To use the sugar for fuel, our bodies release insulin. Insulin acts like a key opening our cell doors so that the sugar can move from our bloodstream into our cells to be used for energy.

During pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones that cause your cells to”resist” the insulin. In essence, the “keys” aren’t opening the cell “doors” as easily. You need two to three times more insulin during the final months of your pregnancy. Your body will try to make more insulin, however if it isn’t able to make enough, then your blood sugar starts to rise.

A Glucose Tolerance Test is a blood test that helps to identify gestational diabetes. It is performed between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Our team completes a blood draw and the results can indicate high amounts of sugar in your blood, suggesting that your body isn’t able to handle sugar normally.

Risks for Moms

Moms with GDM have a 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. You will need to be screened for diabetes every year.

Risks for Babies

When you blood sugar is high, your body passes extra sugar to your baby. This may cause your baby to grow too large, making your delivery more difficult for both you and your baby. A large baby may raise your risk for a cesarean section. If your baby is exposed to high blood sugar throughout your pregnancy, he/she will start to make extra insulin. After delivery, your baby will continue to make extra insulin and may experience low blood sugar.

You will be tested for gestational diabetes at one of our clinics in Maple Grove, Blaine, Plymouth, or Crystal. Our registered dietitian and wellness expert sees moms-to-be with GDM at our clinic in Maple Grove.

Your OB prenatal screening includes a Glucose Intolerance Test, which is a simple blood test that identifies high blood sugar levels. If results show you have gestational diabetes, our team will work with you to manage GDM throughout your pregnancy.

We may refer you to our registered dietitian and wellness expert for help in developing meals plans and strategies for exercise.

  • How do I manage gestational diabetes? There are several ways to manage gestational diabetes. At Oakdale ObGyn, you will meet with a dietitian to develop a meal plan that helps you keep your blood sugar in good control. You’ll learn how to portion and span your intake of carbohydrate foods. Your meal plan will also help you gain the appropriate amount of weight for your pregnancy. Physical activity also helps your body use insulin better so that you can control your blood sugar levels. To monitor your progress, you will learn how to check your blood sugar levels. This way, you will be able to adjust your meals and physical activity patterns to help you meet your blood sugar goals. Even with these lifestyle changes, some women will also require insulin to manage their blood sugar levels.
  • How can gestational diabetes affect my baby? Most women with gestational diabetes give birth to healthy babies. The key is managing your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is high, your body passes the extra sugar onto your baby. This may cause your baby to grow too large, making your delivery more difficult for both you and your baby. A large baby may raise your need for a cesarean section. If your baby is exposed to high blood sugar throughout your pregnancy, he/she will also start to make extra insulin. After delivery, your baby will continue to make extra insulin and may experience a low blood sugar.
  • Can I prevent gestational diabetes? Because gestational diabetes is related to the pregnancy hormones, there are no guarantees. You have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes if you have a first-degree relative with Type 2 diabetes, have a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2, have a history of pre-diabetes, or have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds. Starting your pregnancy at a healthy weight is an important strategy. New research has also shown that pregnant women with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2 may be able to reduce insulin resistance through healthy diet, physical activity and appropriate weight gain during pregnancy. It is especially important to minimize any excess weight gain during the first trimester.
  • Will I still have diabetes after my pregnancy? Your blood sugar usually returns to normal after you deliver your baby. However, some women find that their blood sugar continues to be high after pregnancy and they may be diagnosed with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. It is important to have your fasting blood sugar checked at your post-partum appointment.If you have had gestational diabetes, you have a 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. It is important to be screened for diabetes every year. You can lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy diet, being physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.
About Gestaional Diabetes

Your body needs glucose (sugar) for energy, but too much glucose may be harmful for you or your baby. Left untreated, diabetes puts new mothers at risk for serious health concerns. Moms-to-be with gestational diabetes typically don’t notice any signs of this condition.

Causes of Gestational Diabetes

Similar to other forms of diabetes, gestational diabetes means that your blood sugar is too high. Why? When we eat, our bodies break down food into glucose (or sugar). To use the sugar for fuel, our bodies release insulin. Insulin acts like a key opening our cell doors so that the sugar can move from our bloodstream into our cells to be used for energy.

During pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones that cause your cells to”resist” the insulin. In essence, the “keys” aren’t opening the cell “doors” as easily. You need two to three times more insulin during the final months of your pregnancy. Your body will try to make more insulin, however if it isn’t able to make enough, then your blood sugar starts to rise.

Glucose Tolerance Test

A Glucose Tolerance Test is a blood test that helps to identify gestational diabetes. It is performed between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. Our team completes a blood draw and the results can indicate high amounts of sugar in your blood, suggesting that your body isn’t able to handle sugar normally.

Understanding Risks

Risks for Moms

Moms with GDM have a 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. You will need to be screened for diabetes every year.

Risks for Babies

When you blood sugar is high, your body passes extra sugar to your baby. This may cause your baby to grow too large, making your delivery more difficult for both you and your baby. A large baby may raise your risk for a cesarean section. If your baby is exposed to high blood sugar throughout your pregnancy, he/she will start to make extra insulin. After delivery, your baby will continue to make extra insulin and may experience low blood sugar.

Where We Test for Gestational Diabetes

You will be tested for gestational diabetes at one of our clinics in Maple Grove, Blaine, Plymouth, or Crystal. Our registered dietitian and wellness expert sees moms-to-be with GDM at our clinic in Maple Grove.

What to Expect

Your OB prenatal screening includes a Glucose Intolerance Test, which is a simple blood test that identifies high blood sugar levels. If results show you have gestational diabetes, our team will work with you to manage GDM throughout your pregnancy.

We may refer you to our registered dietitian and wellness expert for help in developing meals plans and strategies for exercise.

Common Questions About GDM
  • How do I manage gestational diabetes? There are several ways to manage gestational diabetes. At Oakdale ObGyn, you will meet with a dietitian to develop a meal plan that helps you keep your blood sugar in good control. You’ll learn how to portion and span your intake of carbohydrate foods. Your meal plan will also help you gain the appropriate amount of weight for your pregnancy. Physical activity also helps your body use insulin better so that you can control your blood sugar levels. To monitor your progress, you will learn how to check your blood sugar levels. This way, you will be able to adjust your meals and physical activity patterns to help you meet your blood sugar goals. Even with these lifestyle changes, some women will also require insulin to manage their blood sugar levels.
  • How can gestational diabetes affect my baby? Most women with gestational diabetes give birth to healthy babies. The key is managing your blood sugar. When your blood sugar is high, your body passes the extra sugar onto your baby. This may cause your baby to grow too large, making your delivery more difficult for both you and your baby. A large baby may raise your need for a cesarean section. If your baby is exposed to high blood sugar throughout your pregnancy, he/she will also start to make extra insulin. After delivery, your baby will continue to make extra insulin and may experience a low blood sugar.
  • Can I prevent gestational diabetes? Because gestational diabetes is related to the pregnancy hormones, there are no guarantees. You have an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes if you have a first-degree relative with Type 2 diabetes, have a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2, have a history of pre-diabetes, or have given birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds. Starting your pregnancy at a healthy weight is an important strategy. New research has also shown that pregnant women with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2 may be able to reduce insulin resistance through healthy diet, physical activity and appropriate weight gain during pregnancy. It is especially important to minimize any excess weight gain during the first trimester.
  • Will I still have diabetes after my pregnancy? Your blood sugar usually returns to normal after you deliver your baby. However, some women find that their blood sugar continues to be high after pregnancy and they may be diagnosed with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. It is important to have your fasting blood sugar checked at your post-partum appointment.If you have had gestational diabetes, you have a 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. It is important to be screened for diabetes every year. You can lower your risk for Type 2 diabetes by eating a healthy diet, being physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week, managing stress, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Video
“I saw Kim Plessel because I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes [during pregnancy]. I had one appointment with her and since have had several emails. I cannot express how incredibly helpful she is. In the last 2 months I have been trying to get answers that my regular clinic has not been able to get me but Kim did it with in a week. She constantly did this, she consistently went above and beyond anything I have ever experienced in a healthcare provider. Her support with my new diet is absolutely incredible; she shared ideas and helped come up with strategies and most of all was supportive.”
– Ashley S. - GDM Success Story

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