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The Birthplace Blog

Filtering by Tag: High Sugar during Pregnancy

Planning Pregnancy after 35..?

The Birthplace


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Have you crossed 35 and are planning to conceive?

Yes! Then you are in good company. Many women are delaying pregnancy well into their 30s and beyond and are delivering healthy babies. The risks of pregnancy after 35 tend to get exaggerated but taking special care can help give you and your baby the best start.

Here are some challenges that you may face if you are planning to conceive post 35.

  • Getting pregnant might take a longer time. You are born with a limited number of eggs at birth. By puberty, you lose half of your eggs and by the time you reach your mid-to-late 30s, your eggs decrease in quantity and quality. Also at an older age, the eggs aren’t fertilized as easily as it would when you were younger. If you are in your late 30’s and haven’t been able to conceive for six months, consider consulting your obstetrician for advice.

  • Multiple pregnancy is very likely to occur. Hormonal changes with older age could cause the release of multiple eggs at the same time and hence increasing the chances of having twins. Pregnancy through assisted reproductive technologies may also result in conceiving twins.

  • The risk of pregnancy loss is higher. As you get older, perhaps due to pre-existing medical conditions or fetal chromosomal abnormalities, you are at a higher risk of having a miscarriage or a stillbirth. Research suggests that this may be due to a combination of a decrease in the quality of your eggs and an increase in the risk of chronic medical conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes. During your last weeks of pregnancy, your obstetrician might suggest regular monitoring to ensure the well - being of the mother and the child.

  • The risk of chromosome abnormalities is higher. Babies born to mothers above the age of 35 are at a higher risk of certain chromosome problems, such as Down syndrome.

  • You’re more likely to develop gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes occurs only during pregnancy and is more common for women conceiving at an older age. Diabetes during pregnancy can cause the baby to grow larger than the average - increasing the risk of injuries during delivery. It is needed to control blood sugar levels through diet and physical activity to decrease the risk of preterm delivery, high blood sugar, and complications to your infant post birth.

  • You’re also likely to develop high blood pressure during pregnancy. High blood pressure that develops during pregnancy is most commonly seen in older women. You will need to visit your obstetrician more frequently to monitor your blood pressure and your baby’s development. If needed, you might have to deliver before your due date to avoid complications.

Dr. Samatha Kumar, is a senior gynecologist at the Birthplace with more than 11 years of experience, specializing in infertility, multiple births, and high-risk pregnancies.  To know more or to meet Dr. Samatha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Samatha Kumar, is a senior gynecologist at the Birthplace with more than 11 years of experience, specializing in infertility, multiple births, and high-risk pregnancies.

To know more or to meet Dr. Samatha, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

  • You’re more likely to have a premature birth. Premature birth often comes with complicated medical problems, especially for the babies born the earliest. They may also have very low birth weight.

  • You might need a C-section. Women conceiving at an older age are at a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications that might lead to a Cesarean. One such example of a complication is Placenta Previa, a condition in which the placenta blocks the cervix not allowing a natural birth.

There are certainly a list of challenges that older women may face while conceiving or during their pregnancy. But few of these conditions can be avoided if you can take very good care of yourself. Remember! Your baby is healthy if you are!

Here are a few basics you need to pay attention to -

  • Consult your Obstetrician before you start planning for a baby.  It is always good to speak to your obstetrician about your overall health and lifestyle before you plan. Your obstetrician may advice few lifestyle changes, if necessary, to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy. In case you have trouble conceiving or otherwise, do not hesitate to discuss your concerns about fertility or pregnancy.

  • Seek regular prenatal care. Regular prenatal visits are a must and they help your obstetrician to monitor your health and your baby’s health. Mention any signs or symptoms that concern you. Talking to your obstetrician is likely to put your mind at ease.

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  • Eat a healthy diet. During pregnancy, your body will need more of folic acids, calcium, iron, vitamin D and other essential nutrients. Maintain a healthy diet to enrich your body with these nutrients. Starting a daily prenatal vitamin, ideally a few months before conception can help fill any gaps.

  • Gain weight wisely. Gaining the right amount of weight is necessary to support your baby’s health. It also makes it easier to shed the extra weight after delivery. Work with your obstetrician to determine what’s right for you.

  • Stay active. Regular physical activity can help you prepare for labor and childbirth by increasing your stamina and muscle strength. It can also help boost your energy level and improve your overall health. Consult your obstetrician before you start or continue an exercise regime.

  • Avoid risky substances. Smoking and alcohol consumption must be avoided right from the time you start planning to conceive.


Diabetes during Pregnancy? Know more.

The Birthplace

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When you are expecting, you often go through rounds of tests to ensure that your baby is healthy. You maintain a good diet, follow an exercise regime and do a lot of things you never did before. And while you find yourself changing externally, there are numerous changes which occur in your body unmasking themselves at various stages of pregnancy.

One of these changes is the high blood sugar level, which often shows itself up when you are halfway through your pregnancy. Medically, this condition is known as Gestational Diabetes and its dismaying  to know that Asian, African and Native American women are at higher risk of acquiring it. It is also a fact that gestational diabetes occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies.

THE CAUSE

Gestational diabetes is a condition characterised by high blood sugar (glucose) levels that is first recognised during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, increased levels of certain hormones made in the placenta help shift nutrients from the mother to the developing  fetus. To help prevent the mother from developing low blood sugar, the placenta produces other hormones which work by resisting the action of Insulin. Over the course of the pregnancy, these hormones lead to higher blood sugar levels. To try and bring these down, the body produces more insulin.

Dr. Girija Lakshmi is an Obstetrician & Gynecologist with a focus on Fertility & Preconception. She has also trained in hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. She has helped hundreds of women successfully manage symptoms of poly-cystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids and even menopause related issues through medical and surgical interventions.  To know more or to consult Dr. Girija, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at  contactus@thebirthplace.com  or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Dr. Girija Lakshmi is an Obstetrician & Gynecologist with a focus on Fertility & Preconception. She has also trained in hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. She has helped hundreds of women successfully manage symptoms of poly-cystic ovary syndrome, uterine fibroids and even menopause related issues through medical and surgical interventions.

To know more or to consult Dr. Girija, please call 040-45208108. You can also write to her at contactus@thebirthplace.com or visit www.thebirthplace.com

Usually, the mother's pancreas is able to produce more insulin to overcome the effect of the pregnancy hormones. If, however, the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, blood sugar levels will rise, resulting in gestational diabetes.

WHO SHOULD BE CAREFUL?

  • Moms who were overweight before expecting

  • Moms who had gestational diabetes in the earlier pregnancies

  • Moms who have given birth to a stillborn baby before

  • Moms who have given birth to a baby of over 9 pounds before

  • Those who've had a family history of diabetes

To-be-moms diagnosed with gestational diabetes are vulnerable towards developing Type-2 diabetes later, though this may not hold true in all the cases. Usually, the screening tests for gestational diabetes are done between 24 to 28 weeks of the pregnancy age. Gestational diabetes, if treated in time, does not have any influence on the health of the baby. If left untreated, this can have major effects on the baby which includes stillbirth, or an unhealthy baby which has a likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes in the long run.

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HOW CAN YOU DETECT IT? 

Following are the few symptoms of gestational diabetes:

  • Impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose (blood sugar levels are high, but not high enough to be diabetes)

  • Sugar in urine

  • Too much amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)

The above conditions can be detected through an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), Urine dipstick for sugar and an Ultrasound scan respectively.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

There is always some amount of precaution we can take even for situations not in our control!  

  • Exercise and maintain your diet before planning a pregnancy.

  • Healthy diets and recommended exercise help towards its treatment

  • Maintain regular visits to your Obstetrician / Gynecologist

  • Keeping a check on your blood sugar levels

Don’t worry! With proper treatment, you can deliver a healthy baby despite having diabetes.