Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy With Multiples

Being pregnant with multiples increases a mother’s risk for several complications. According to the American college of Obstetrics and Gynecologists gestational diabetes is one of them. Gestational diabetes may cause further complications such as high blood pressure in the mother, breathing problems, and blood sugar regulation difficulties in baby. However studies of gestational diabetes in multiple gestation pregnancies have shown that this condition does not cause accelerated fetal growth as it typically does in singleton pregnancies. 

Gestational Diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. This hormone is responsible for lowering our blood sugar or blood glucose by helping sugar enter our blood cells to be used as energy. When our bodies become resistant to insulin it is diagnosed as diabetes. When a women is pregnant the hormones secreted by the placenta(s) and increased weight make her body less responsive to this insulin and in turn may cause a rise of sugar in her blood leading to the diagnosis of gestational diabetes (meaning diabetes during pregnancy) which usually resolves after delivery. 

Every pregnant women will perform a glucose screening test between 24 and 28 weeks gestation. This is called a glucose challenge test. If your blood sugar is 140 or more then a glucose tolerance test will likely be needed. A diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes may result if your blood glucose levels were high at any two or more of the blood test times of the glucose tolerance test. 

You are pregnant with twins (or more) and have just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, now what? First know that you did nothing wrong and there are things you can do to improve your blood sugar levels:

  1. Follow a healthy diet. Talk to your doctor about what foods to eat, how much of them to eat and when to eat them. Your list will consist of lean protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and low fat dairy; non -starchy vegetables like broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, onions, and peppers; healthy fats include avocado, nuts, olive oil, seeds and nut butters. Complex carbohydrates will still be needed for energy and are included in beans, berries, brown rice, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, and Greek yogurt. AVOID surgery and processed foods.
  2. Increase physical activity. Always talk to your provider about which exercises may be best for you. Activities such as yoga, swimming, walking and other low-impact exercises are usually best. 
  3. Monitor your blood glucose levels. Your healthcare team may ask you to use a glucometer to monitor your blood sugar levels and provide target ranges for your daily glucose levels. 

If implementing these lifestyle changes don’t show to control your blood sugar your provider may talk to you about incorporating insulin into your treatment. This will be short-term treatment as gestational diabetes usually resolves after delivery of your babies. 

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