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March 27, 2001

Gestational Diabetes

Question from Washington, DC, USA:

I am 32 years old, almost 28 weeks pregnant, and was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I have an appointment to meet with an endocrinologist next week to go over a treatment plan, but in the meantime, I have been given some basic dietary guidelines regarding carb intake. I also heard that it is good to eat a protein when you eat a carb as it aids in digestion. I am hoping diet and monitoring alone will rectify the problem without the need for insulin, and I have several questions: Do these sound like good temporary guidelines to follow? Would you think that I might see a good response to diet changes alone and not insulin? How many babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes end up being born with hypoglycemia? How long do babies with low blood sugar levels at birth end up having to be on glucose postpartum?

Answer:

You are off to a good start on your diet.
I cannot promise, but with a normal fasting blood sugar, you have a good chance of being on diet only.
Not all babies have problems with hypoglycemia. You reduce the risk by keeping your blood sugars as near normal as possible.
How long babies have to be treated is variable. At most, only a few days.

OWJ