By Keith S. Wexler, MBA, CFO, CIO Maternal Fetal Medicine, Prenatal Diagnosis and Biotech/Life Sciences Consultant, GENASSIST, Inc.
Paul Wexler, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Medical Director, GENASSIST, Inc.
Clinical Professor, Department of OB/GYN, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Clinical Professor, Division of Genetics/Dept. of Pediatrics, Univ. of Colorado/The Children’s Hospital
Gestational Diabetes is the development of high blood sugar during pregnancy.
Diagnosis: Testing may begin earlier if the patient has a mother, father, sibling or a child with diabetes or a history of high blood sugar in a previous pregnancy or sugar is found in routine urine testing in pregnancy.
Usually a screening test is performed first after consumption of a sweet oral glucose solution. Blood tests are often done prior to consuming the drink then 1-2 hours after finishing the drink.
A second test is done between 24 and 28 weeks gestation after drinking another glucose solution and blood tests are drawn prior to the drink then hourly for 3 hours. If at least two of the blood tests are higher than normal, the patient will usually be diagnosed as having Gestational Diabetes.
The patient will then have more frequent blood testing often after having been placed on a “diabetic diet” and have more frequent monitoring of the child in pregnancy. Oral medication or insulin may be prescribed at some time during the pregnancy.
*Increased risks to the mother includes:
- High blood pressure in pregnancy
- Cesarean delivery
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Type II Diabetes
- Preterm birth
*Maternal Gestational Diabetes Risks To the Baby:
- Birth defects
- Large for gestational age baby
- Low blood sugar after birth in the baby
- Shoulder dystocia
- Preterm birth
- Respiratory distress syndrome
*Recommend: More frequent ultrasound to monitor fetal growth in pregnancy.