Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, affecting a significant number of women in India and around the world. While pregnancy is a joyous time for most women, it also comes with its own set of health challenges, one of which is gestational diabetes. In this blog, we will explore the prevalence of gestational diabetes in India, the screening process, risk factors, potential risks to both the unborn baby and the mother, strategies for management and the importance of long-term follow-up.
India is no stranger to the diabetes epidemic. With a large population and changing lifestyles, the prevalence of diabetes, including gestational diabetes, is a growing concern. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), India had over 77 million adults living with diabetes in 2019 and the numbers have likely increased since then.
The exact prevalence of gestational diabetes in India can vary by region and population group. However, estimates suggest that it affects around 4-10% of pregnancies in the country. This number is alarming, as untreated gestational diabetes can lead to serious health complications for both the mother and the baby.
Screening for gestational diabetes is a critical part of prenatal care in India. We typically recommend screening at the beginning of pregnancy and if normal, repeat between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, as this is when the condition often develops. Two common methods of screening are:
While gestational diabetes can affect anyone, some women are at a higher risk than others. Common risk factors include:
Gestational diabetes poses risks to both the unborn baby and the mother. For the baby, these risks include:
For the mother, GDM can lead to:
The management of gestational diabetes primarily focuses on maintaining blood sugar levels within a healthy range. This can often be achieved through lifestyle modifications, including:
After delivery, it's crucial for both the mother and the baby to undergo follow-up care. Mothers should continue to monitor their blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Babies should be monitored for any signs of complications related to GDM.
Gestational diabetes is a significant health concern in India, affecting a substantial number of pregnant women and their babies. Early screening, identifying risk factors and effective management are essential to ensuring a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Long-term follow-up is equally critical to monitor the health of both mother and child and prevent future complications. By raising awareness and improving prenatal care, we can mitigate the impact of gestational diabetes in India and ensure better health outcomes for mothers and their newborns.
Want to consult the best gynecologists in India? Please find the links below.
Want to consult the best Maternity Packages in India? Please find the links below.