Average Weight Of Baby Twins At Birth By The Week Type 2 Diabetes – Gestational Diabetes, Breastfeeding and Preventing Full Blown Diabetes

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Type 2 Diabetes – Gestational Diabetes, Breastfeeding and Preventing Full Blown Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, USA, gestational diabetes, the type associated with pregnancy, affects 18 percent of pregnancies worldwide. Five to 10 percent of women with gestational diabetes are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes soon after giving birth. Women with gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next 10 to 20 years.

According to the report European Journal of Endocrinology, September 2011 Breastfeeding in women with gestational diabetes may be a way to help prevent type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. Researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway looked at sugar tolerance in:

  • 300 women who had diabetes during one or more pregnancies, and
  • 220 women had normal blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

Six women who showed normal sugar levels during pregnancy and 57 who had gestational diabetes, showed high blood sugar levels. Those who breastfed their babies had:

  • 2 percent of high sugar, compared to
  • 4 percent of those who fed their children with a bottle.

The investigators therefore concluded that breastfeeding may be beneficial in preventing high blood sugar and should be encouraged.

Babies born to mothers with diabetes are more likely to be born overweight and large. Blood sugar levels cross the placenta and feed the fetus too much glucose, making it very large for its age. This condition is called macrosomia, which is technically defined as a baby weighing more than 8lb 13oz (4,000 grams). Babies with macrosomia are often unable to enter the canal because their shoulders are stuck. Most of these babies have to be delivered by cesarean section.

Babies can be born with low blood sugar, because the pancreas can overreact to receiving too much sugar from the mother. They have abnormal heart rates and other defects. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes, can occur and can cause brain damage if left untreated.

Children of mothers with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and when they reach school age, they show higher rates of apathy and motor deficits.

Gestational diabetes can be prevented if the mother maintains a normal weight before pregnancy and does not gain weight according to the doctor’s advice. Most obstetricians screen for diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks for high-risk mothers. The test consists of drinking sugar syrup and measuring its sugar level frequently. If the test is abnormal but the mother has normal blood sugar 2 hours after eating, a healthy diet can usually control the situation. If the test is abnormal and the mother shows a high blood sugar level 2 hours after eating, treatment with insulin or other drugs may be necessary.

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