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Gestational Diabetes: Putting You & Your Baby at Risk

Summary: Obesity is a huge risk factor for developing gestational diabetes. How can you protect yourself and your baby?
Air Date: 4/11/14
Duration: 10
Host: Leigh Vinocur, MD
Guest Bio: James Barrow, MD
James Barrow, MD, is an assistant professor of OB/GYN at LSU Health Shreveport. He is board certified by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His special interest of practice is minimally invasive surgery.
Gestational Diabetes: Putting You & Your Baby at Risk
It's not secret that obesity is a problem in our nation... often referred to as an "epidemic" and now even classified as a disease by the AMA. One of the resulting factors of obesity is the potential development of diabetes.

How might this affect expecting mothers?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women. Obesity and lifestyle are both risk factors for gestational diabetes.

Some women who develop the signs of gestational diabetes, actually suffered from diabetes prior to becoming pregnant but did not know. In other women, there is no history of diabetes, but certain factors (again, obesity and lifestyle) bring on the condition.

How do you know if you're at risk?

In this day and age, most doctors screen absolutely every pregnant woman who comes through their doors. However, there are a few doctors who only screen patients who present risk factors. The first step in screening is typically a glucose tolerance test, first administered during the second trimester.

Recent studies have suggested that if you're obese during pregnancy and develop diabetes, you may predispose your unborn child to developing diabetes as well.

It makes sense: if your blood has a lot of sugar in it while pregnant, it's like your baby is "eating" too much sugar. This may result in a high-birth weight baby and can lead to other complications as well, such as neonatal hypoglycemia and the need for a Cesarean birth.

Treatment options include diabetic counseling, meeting with a nutritionist and assessing your severity with a glucose monitor. Most doctors try to control the condition with diet first; if that doesn't work, then medications are entertained.

Join Dr. James Barrow and Dr. Leigh as they discuss the many factors of gestational diabetes.

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