Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops, or is first diagnosed, during pregnancy. You can think of it as “insulin resistance” or “carbohydrate intolerance” during pregnancy as a way to understand it better. Basically, it means that a woman cannot tolerate large amounts of carbohydrates without causing her blood sugar levels to rise.
Can gestational diabetes be prevented?
You don’t have to have a history of glucose intolerance or insulin resistance to be at risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Research has shown that adopting healthy practices such as not smoking, regular exercise (150 minutes or more per week) and a healthy diet can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes by 41%.
High blood sugar can cause various complications in the baby such as macrosomia (large baby), which increases the chance of a caesarean due to an increased chance of an obstructed labour. It also causes an increase in shoulder dystocia, which is where the shoulders get stuck during vaginal delivery, with possible nerve damage to the baby.
It can also result in hypoglycaemia (low sugar levels) after delivery and permanent changes to a child’s metabolism.
Since early 2011, Australia has had a Paid Parental Leave scheme. This allows eligible working parents to get paid for up to 18 weeks when they take time off work to care for a new baby or recently adopted child.
Driving during pregnancy can present a unique set of risks - it pays to be as informed as possible about the facts.
Currently in Australia, there is no recommendation for pregnant women to stop driving. And it’s not illegal in any Australian State or Territory to drive during pregnancy. The same road rules apply to all drivers, pregnant or otherwise. But pregnancy itself is not a reason to stop driving.
Our understanding of exercise in pregnancy + postpartum has come a long way in the recent years, and we are much more likely to treat the “normal” pregnancy as a normal physiological process – not a disability.
Exercise in the postpartum period is helpful to regain your shape, increase your energy levels, lift your mood and give you the strength required for your new job of mothering.
Your new role will involve a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing, getting up from chairs and the floor, and holding for feeding.
After the birth of your baby there is a period of healing and physical adjustment from the effects of pregnancy as well as from your labour or delivery.
During pregnancy, there is increased pressure on the pelvic floor from your growing baby, placenta and extra fluid.