Typically, you cannot get rid of gestational diabetes (GD) during pregnancy but it will go away on its own after childbirth. Therefore, if you successfully control your blood sugar during pregnancy – there should be nothing to worry about. Because your insulin respond and the mechanism of your body in regulating blood glucose will return to normal soon after pregnancy!
Once you are diagnosed with GD, there is nothing to do to get rid of it during pregnancy. The most important thing you need to do is how to control it so thus it will not be harmful to your baby and yourself.
If left uncontrolled, it can increase your risk of having some complications such as early labor and problems that affect your newborn after delivery (these may include breathing problem, newborn with hypoglycemia at birth, baby with shoulders damage, and your baby is at high risk of getting obesity later in life).
However the good news, most pregnant women diagnosed with GD can cope with the problem and have a healthy pregnancy.
While GD can be controlled as well during pregnancy, why it cannot be cured at that time?
The key of the answer is the continuously pregnancy hormones triggered by placenta during pregnancy. These hormones can affect the way of your insulin to work.
Insulin has important function to maintain and regulate the level of your blood sugar. It can help the process of absorption for glucose from the blood plasma /bloodstream to the body’s cells. If the process of this absorption runs properly, your body can continuously maintain your blood sugar on its own.
In some pregnancies (about 3-5 percent of all pregnancies), the pregnancy hormones triggered by placenta can decrease the insulin sensitivity or insulin respond. As a result, the mechanism of blood sugar metabolism cannot work optimally.
So, your GD will not go away as long as you still have placenta (an organ that link between your baby and your uterus’s wall). Therefore, you cannot get rid of it during pregnancy.
Once your placenta is gone after pregnancy, there is nothing to do to get rid of your GD because your body usually will cure itself to get back the normal function of insulin in controlling blood sugar.
About 6 weeks after your childbirth, your insulin sensitivity and other mechanisms in the body to help blood sugar control usually will return to normal naturally!
To find out whether your GD has gone, your doctor usually ask you to take a screening test for GD. This test is usually more focused to analyze the performance of your glucose metabolism after pregnancy.
Since women with a history of GD are at high risk of developing type-2 diabetes, it’s important for you to keep stick with healthy practices (particularly such as getting regular exercise and eating right) to keep your risk low. You should take a screening test for type-2 before the age of 45.
According to the National Diabetes Education Program, the chance for women who had GD during one pregnancy to develop type-2 after pregnancy is about 35-60 %. And even about 5-10 % of this group got type-2 diabetes immediately after pregnancy.
To manage and control it during pregnancy, you need to keep monitoring your blood sugar (control it as close to normal as possible)! Even your doctor may ask you to check your blood sugar more often.
This advice is not only important to control your GD but also important for your overall health. Healthy diet for GD is similar to diet for type-1 and type-2 diabetes, which the major goal is to get the balance intake in order to maintain the blood glucose.
However, there may be some adjustments that made by your doctor /dietitian to make sure that you get plenty of nutrients for the development & growth of your baby. Read also a sample meal plan for gestational diabetes on this section!
Being pregnant doesn’t mean you don’t need to get plenty of physical activity. Getting regular exercise can give a significant contribution to maintain your fit status before – during – and after pregnancy.
If you are not yet diagnosed with GD, regular exercise can help reduce your risk of developing GD during pregnancy. And if you have been diagnosed with GD, it can help improve your insulin respond which then will be very useful for your blood glucose control during pregnancy.