How Much Should A Baby Weight At 24 Weeks Pregnant 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 kind associated with pregnancy, affects 18 per cent of pregnancies worldwide. Five to 10 per cent of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes are found to have Type 2 diabetes immediately after giving birth. Women with gestational diabetes have a 35 to 60 per cent chance of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes during the following 10 to 20 years.

According to a report in the European Journal of Endocrinology, September 2011, breastfeeding by women who were diagnosed with pregnancy-related diabetes could be one way of helping to prevent Type 2 diabetes after pregnancy. Researchers at the National University of Ireland in Galway looked at sugar tolerance in:

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

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

  • 2 per cent rate of high blood sugar, compared with
  • 4 per cent of those who fed their infants from bottles.

The investigators therefore concluded breastfeeding could be beneficial in preventing high blood sugars and should be encouraged.

Infants of mothers with diabetes can be born very fat and large. The mother’s high blood sugar levels cross the placenta and feed the fetus too much glucose, causing it to grow really large for its gestational age. This condition is called macrosomia, technically defined by a birth weight greater than 8lb 13oz (4,000 gram). Babies with macrosomia are usually not able to fit through the birth canal because their shoulders get stuck. Must of these babies will need to be delivered by cesarean section.

The baby can be born with low blood sugar levels because their pancreas can overreact to receiving too much sugar from their mothers. They have a high rate of heart and other defects. Jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes, can be present and can lead to brain damage if it is not treated.

Children of mothers with gestational diabetes are at risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and when they reach school age they show a high rate of inattention and poor motor skills.

Gestational diabetes can be prevented if mothers normalize their body weights before pregnancy and gain only as much weight as their doctor recommend. Most obstetricians test for gestational diabetes at 24 to 28 weeks for mothers at average risk. The test consists of having the mother drink a solution of sugar and measuring her blood sugar at regular intervals. If the test is abnormal but the mother has normal blood sugar levels 2 hours after meals, a healthful diet can usually control the condition. If the test is abnormal and the mother exhibits high blood sugar levels 2 hours after meals, treatment with insulin or other medication can be necessary.

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