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Gestational Diabetes: Risks and Average Time of Delivery

Gestational diabetes delivery

gestational diabetes delivery

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that appears in a pregnant woman who did not previously have diabetes. It can affect more than one pregnancy in some women.

Gestational diabetes usually manifests itself in the middle of a pregnancy and can cause complications at the time of delivery. Doctors typically screen for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Healthy eating and regular exercise can often help manage gestational diabetes. A woman with gestational diabetes may need to take insulin at times [Ref].

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Average Delivery Time with Gestational Diabetes

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reports that the majority of women with well-controlled gestational diabetes deliver their babies at term.

37 weeks are what experts define as full-term. The average week cannot be determined with certainty because there is no information on the length of labor for women with gestational diabetes.

However, delivery should take place within the usual amount of time for the majority of people with no issues.

Even if they carry to term, women with gestational diabetes are more likely to deliver by C-section.

This is due to the fact that the fetus grows larger than usual in women with gestational diabetes because the body passes too much sugar to it. Macrosomia is the medical term for an oversized fetus.

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Causes of Preterm Birth

Although many women with gestational diabetes deliver their babies at full term, the illness can induce several other issues that result in preterm birth.

Some people may have early labor, while others may need to have their labor artificially induced using drugs on a doctor’s prescription.

Macrosomia

When a fetus weighs more than 9 pounds or 4.1 kilograms [ref], it is said to have fetal macrosomia. The body of the parent giving birth may be put under extra stress if the fetus is larger than usual. It may occasionally result in issues like:

  • delivery problems
  • severe bleeding following delivery
  • intense crying during labor

Consequently, a doctor may advise a slightly premature cesarean delivery if a fetus has gotten too big. However, if it does not have a negative impact on the mother’s health, they will probably encourage the expectant mother to carry the fetus to full term.

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia, often known as high blood pressure during pregnancy, is more prevalent in women with gestational diabetes.

The body is put under extra stress when you have high blood pressure. It can occasionally result in heart problems, which can be fatal to the expectant parent. A doctor would probably advise early delivery if preeclampsia worsens to the point where it poses a risk to the parent.

Several preeclampsia symptoms [ref]

  • Headaches
  • Abdomen ache
  • Nausea \ vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Enlarged hands and feet

A person should see a doctor if they experience preeclampsia symptoms.

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Is an Early Delivery Safe?

Early labor with gestational diabetes is often safe. It may only be necessary to deliver a few weeks early due to related problems, such as macrosomia and preeclampsia.

Delivering before the typical 40-week threshold is safe because experts consider 37 weeks to be full-term.

Infants delivered earlier than 37 weeks can still be healthy and flourishing, nevertheless. Although there is no set period when a pregnancy is declared “viable,” significant Canadian research found that 87% of babies born at 26 weeks survived [ref].

A doctor will take into account the dangers to the parent and the fetus while deciding whether to perform an early birth.

For instance, if the expectant mother has severe preeclampsia, the advantages of an early delivery outweigh the risks of a delivery that is just a little bit premature.

Depending on a person’s unique situation, pregnancy difficulties, and access to healthcare, recommendations can differ greatly.

People with poorly controlled diabetes or vascular problems are advised by the ACOG to deliver before 39 weeks [Ref].

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Other Delivery Risks Associated with Gestational Diabetes

The risk of additional pregnancy and delivery difficulties can rise in those with gestational diabetes. Although it does not necessarily follow that everyone with gestational diabetes will experience problems, individuals should be aware of it.

The rate of poor maternal outcomes was 52.9% among pregnant Ethiopian women with gestational diabetes and just 8.1% in those without, according to a 2020 study [ref]. According to the study, gestational diabetic women were more prone to:

  • Pre- and postpartum hemorrhage (excessive bleeding)
  • Cesarean delivery
  • Hypertension, or high blood pressure
  • Early rupture of the amniotic sac
  • Induced labor
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Prevention of Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes can be brought on by a variety of reasons, and it is frequently preventable. It’s crucial to heed medical guidance if the problem does manifest in a person.

Management is essential since well-controlled gestational diabetes has little effect on pregnancy and delivery.

A person’s chance of developing gestational diabetes might be raised by specific variables. They comprise:

  • Latino, African American, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native American status [Ref] and being older than 28
  • a family history of diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • having a big child from a prior pregnancy
  • elevated blood pressure
  • having extra weight before getting pregnant
  • putting on excess weight while pregnant [Ref]
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What do you think?

Written by Ahmed Farhan

I am an Internist practicing medicine for the last fifteen years. Over the years, I have learned that medicine is not about prescribing pills. True medical practice is helping people.
I do prescribe pills as well but the best results I get are when I motivate people to overcome their problems with little changes in their lifestyles.
Since most of my patients are obese and have diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol levels, I am writing at dibesity.com when free.
Dibesity, I know the correct word is diabesity. Ignore this! Be with us.
Also, you can contact me directly at dibesity.com@gmail.com

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