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Pregnant women advised to adopt a healthy lifestyle

punjab Updated: Nov 13, 2013 20:28 IST
Harshraj Singh

Around 11% women suffer from diabetes during pregnancy, which if left untreated, can cause serious illness to the baby in the womb, say doctors.

Early detection, appropriate treatment and improved lifestyle can prevent from further complications during pregnancy.

On the eve of World Diabetes Day, doctors suggest women to follow precautions and adopt a healthy lifestyle for protection of the newborn as well as for them before and during pregnancy.

“Every fifth pregnant women is being diagnosed with diabetes during checkup these days. But, it can be controlled with treatment, lifestyle modification and balanced diet to avoid any complication during pregnancy,” Dr Arti Tuli, assistant professor at
Christian Medical College and Hospital Ludhiana said.

According to doctors, if diabetes is left untreated, a baby can suffer from congenital anomalies and can become handicapped, adding that some body parts may not develop properly. Sometimes a baby can die in the womb too if no attention is paid to control diabetes.

Blood sugar level generally increases during pregnancy. Some women suffer from overt diabetes but others suffer from gestational diabetes, which occurs only during pregnancy.

“Overt diabetic patients are those who suffer from diabetes before pregnancy,” said Dr Arti Tuli.

“We conduct a test during the first visit and the second test is conducted between 24th to 27th week of pregnancy. The gestational diabetes remains only in 5 to 10% women after delivery, but she needs treatment during pregnancy,” said Dr Tuli.

But other women, who had diabetes during pregnancy but not after delivery can suffer from diabetes in the next 10 years again if precautions are not followed, she said.

“Due to uncontrolled diabetes in mother, chances become 4 to 8 times higher that a baby can suffer from diabetes. A baby can also suffer from heart and kidney problems among other problems if the mother is not treated for diabetes. If mother is diabetic, the size of a baby increases sometimes and we conduct caesarean delivery in such case, Dr Tuli added.

“A child can also suffer from jaundice if blood sugar level of a mother remains uncontrolled during pregnancy. We ask them to follow precautions. After delivery too, the blood sugar level of a new born can fluctuate,” Dr Ashima Taneja, professor of gynaecology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital said.

“During pregnancy, women should take precautions and follow required treatment to control diabetes. We suggest them to conduct some exercises if their weight is increasing more than 1.5 kg every month during pregnancy. They should take balanced diet and avoid junk food,” Dr Taneja said.

The doctors also advise diabetic patients to take green leafy vegetables, fruits and also ask them to avoid cold drinks and fried food items.