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Gestational diabetes: When? How? Why?

You are pregnant, and perhaps you are one of the 6% of women with gestational diabetes? Don’t panic, we’ll explain everything to you in great detail!

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during pregnancy, affecting about 6% of pregnant women. It is an increase in blood sugar levels. It is a source of complication for both the mother-to-be and the child, and monitoring is essential.

Every year, more and more women are suffering from gestational diabetes, with those over 35 years of age being more affected than others.

How can we be aware of this?

Generally, all pregnant women undergo a blood test in the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy. This is a systematic search for gestational diabetes with a fasting blood glucose test. When the fasting blood glucose result is between 0.92 g/L and 1.26g/L, the woman is considered to be suffering from gestational diabetes.

What are the risks?

Gestational diabetes is dangerous, including an increased risk of pre-eclampsia and caesarean section. This risk is increased in cases of overweight or obesity. Gestational diabetes can lead to foetal and neonatal complications: risk of malformation, perinatal death, overweight at birth. However, women who are diagnosed are closely monitored by doctors and generally do well.

What are the recommendations?

When gestational diabetes is diagnosed, the pregnant woman must follow an adapted diet in order to have normal blood sugar levels. This means limiting her calorie intake to between 25 and 35 kcal/kg/day and never to be less than 1,600 Kcal/day. It is also necessary to consume slow sugars to slow down the absorption of sugar.

Usually this is sufficient, but it is sometimes necessary to add insulin treatment. Blood sugar levels are then monitored throughout pregnancy.

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