Diabetes during pregnancy is a major complication for conventional obstetrics. As a result, diabetic pregnant women should be advised about the increased risks of impaired glucose tolerance, hypertensive disorders, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. Besides that, in diabetic pregnancy, the mode of delivery should be determined individually and carefully based on the pregnancy terms, fetal weight, obesity, glycemia levels, and medical history. Hence, this write-up discusses the possibility of normal delivery for GDM mothers, the impact of GDM on the mode of delivery, and postpartum guidelines for GDM mothers.
Is it possible for a GDM mother to have a normal delivery?
Yes, most women with well-controlled gestational diabetes can carry their babies to full term and have a normal, complication-free birth. It should be noted that GDM mothers are typically advised to deliver between weeks 38 and 40. In the event of a uterine scar, preeclampsia, placenta previa, fetal distress, or a failed IOL attempt, mothers are given the option of induction of labor or cesarean section. If there are any concerns about your or your baby’s health, or if your blood sugar levels are not well controlled, an earlier C-section delivery may be advised. GDM mothers should also regularly monitor their blood sugar levels and give birth in a hospital with trained health professionals.
How does gestational diabetes affect the mode of delivery?
Diabetes that is not well managed raises the baby’s blood sugar. The baby is “overfed” and grows to be larger than usual. Aside from causing discomfort in the last few months of pregnancy, such fetuses can cause complications during delivery for both the mother and the baby. To deliver the baby, the mother may require a C-section. In severe cases, the excessive pressure might affect the baby’s shoulder or even lead to nerve damage. When the baby is delivered via C-section, the mother takes a longer time to recover from childbirth.
What should GDM mothers do once their baby is born?
GDM mothers should breastfeed their babies as soon as possible, usually within 30 minutes after birth, and then at 2-3-hour intervals until the baby’s blood sugar levels are stable. If the baby’s blood sugar levels are too low, he or she may need to be temporarily fed via tube or drip. If the baby is ill or requires close monitoring, they may be cared for in a specialized neonatal unit. Moreover, doctors may advise new GDM mothers to discontinue any blood sugar-lowering medications along with regular monitoring of their blood sugar levels.
Mothers who had high blood sugar levels during pregnancy should have a diabetes screening 6 to 13 weeks after giving birth. This is due to the fact that some women with gestational diabetes continue to have high blood sugar levels after pregnancy. Nonetheless, if the results are normal, mothers are usually advised to have an annual diabetes exam. This is because having gestational diabetes puts GDM mothers at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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