Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), or high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, used to be relatively rare, occurring in about 3% to 4% of pregnancies, however in recent years, the rate has doubled – now, up to 6% to 8% of mums-to-be are diagnosed with this prenatal complication. GDM is a type of diabetes that affects pregnant women, usually during the second or third trimester of their pregnancy. Women with GDM don’t have diabetes before their pregnancy, and after giving birth it usually goes away. In some women diabetes may be diagnosed in the first trimester, and in these cases the condition most likely existed before pregnancy.
GDM occurs when the hormones produced during pregnancy can make it difficult for the body to use insulin properly, putting you at an increased risk of insulin resistance. As pregnancy places a heavy demand on the body some women are less able to produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance. This makes it difficult to use glucose properly for energy, so the glucose builds up in the blood and the levels rise and if untreated, GDM can cause harm to the mother and her unborn baby. With good management of gestational diabetes, you can increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby but it is vitally important your doctor or midwife tests you for GDM.
A simple blood test at 24-28 weeks into pregnancy can determine whether you are suffering from GDM whilst pregnant but it can be undertaken earlier if you have suffered from GDM within previous pregnancies.
It is important to diagnose and treat GDM as early as possible during pregnancy as without treatment this could lead to complications in labour and after the birth of your baby. Your doctor or midwife will want to watch your health and your baby’s health closely for the rest of your pregnancy to avoid the possible risks including the need of having a C-section, a miscarriage, developing preeclampsia or a pre-term birth.
Wolferstans medical negligence team have dealt with a variety of Claimant’s who have been physically and mentally traumatised due to their health professional not carrying out the relevant blood test to determine whether they were suffering from GDM leading to a variety of complications during and after the birth of their child. If you weren’t tested for GDM and as a result suffered with complications during or after your pregnancy, please contact Wolferstans on 01752 663295 and ask to speak to a member of the medical negligence team.