Posts Tagged ‘ Gestational Diabetes ’

Planning to Go for Baby? Ditch Those French Fries Now!

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Sure, we know to avoid foods that are bad for us in pregnancy (as much as we—and our cravings—still want them). But what about before pregnancy?

According to a new study published in the journal Diabetologia, women who ate more fried foods before they conceived their babies were at significantly increased risk for developing gestational diabetes in pregnancy.

Looking at data from about 15,000 women participating in the study, researchers determined that women who ate fried food at least seven times weekly had an 88 percent greater chance of developing the disease than those who ate fried foods less than one time per week.

The problem was especially evident when women ate fried food in restaurants, versus at home; restaurants tend to use the same oil to fry multiple foods, which makes it worse for you.

These new findings underscore other recently released data, which indicates that a healthy lifestyle could prevent at least half of all gestational diabetes cases. In that study, researchers found that among 14,000 American women, the biggest risk factor for the disease was being overweight or obese during pregnancy. And they found that women who were obese before pregnancy had more than four times greater likelihood of getting it than those of normal pre-pregnancy weight.

Taken together, all this new data shows even more than ever that a healthy pregnancy begins way earlier than conception.

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How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner
How to Eat Healthy During Pregnancy: Making a Healthy Dinner

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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Inducing Labor Could Save You From a C-Section?

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

There has been an ongoing debate over whether inducing labor really increases or decreases your chance of having a C-section. According to a new study conducted at Queen Mary University in London, forget everything you’ve read about inducing labor (which is when a doctor gives you medicine like pitocin, or other drugs, to artificially start or speed up your contractions) boosting your chances of needing a C-section.

In fact, according to their analysis of 157 studies involving 31,000 births, pregnant women whose labor is induced are 12 percent less likely to need a cesarean delivery than those whose doctors take a “wait-and-see” approach.

According to Health Day, “the 12 percent lower risk of cesarean delivery was seen in term or post-term pregnancies that were induced, but not in preterm births, the authors noted.

Inducing labor lowered the chance of cesarean delivery in both high- and low-risk pregnancies, and it also reduced the risk of fetal death and complications in mothers, the findings showed.

The researchers also found that the widely-used drug prostaglandin E2 was linked to a reduced risk of cesarean delivery. However, use of the hormone oxytocin, and amniotomy (the deliberate rupture of the amniotic sac) did not lower the chance of C-section.

Labor is induced in about 20 percent of deliveries, for myriad reasons—including (but not limited to) being one to two weeks past your due date; having gestational diabetes (and your doctor fears your baby may be getting too big); having too little amniotic fluid, or your baby isn’t growing as it should; if your water breaks but your labor doesn’t start on its own; or if you develop preeclampsia.

In other great induction news, last week the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists debunked a recent study by Duke University’s Medical Center that stated that women who had induced labors were more likely to have newborns on the autism spectrum. ACOG claims there is insufficient evidence to support this theory, and therefor doctors should not change their practice of using inductions when needed. As with all things, speak to your doctor if you’re concerned about your chances of being induced so you have all of the facts about the risks and benefits.

On a personal note, being induced isn’t as scary as it sounds—though I understand being freaked out about it. My ob-gyn induced me at 39 weeks—my water had broken at 4:00 am, and by 8:00 am I was still just dilated one measly centimeter. I also had gestational diabetes, so she worried that I could end up having to have a C-section if all did not go well. Luckily, all did go well. In fact, after getting the pitocin at around 9:00 am, I went to sleep and when I woke up at noon, I was fully dilated. I couldn’t believe I had slept through most of my major contractions! If you have to be induced, I hope things go equally well for you!

When is your due date? Check our due date calculator!

TELL US: Have you ever had to be induced in one of your pregnancies? Share your stories.

Labor & Delivery: Inducing Labor
Labor & Delivery: Inducing Labor
Labor & Delivery: Inducing Labor

Image of woman in labor courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Fit Pregnancy: What You Can Learn From Ciara’s Workout

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Hip-hop artist Ciara has always been gorgeous, but she seems to be even more glowing now that she’s pregnant. A big part of her secret? Exercise! The super-fit singer—who recently celebrated her baby shower with besties Kim Kardashian and La La Anthony—hasn’t revealed her due date, but she is reportedly 8 months along with her first child with fiancé rapper-producer Future, and is still doing hour-long workouts with trainer-to-the-stars Gunnar Peterson (as evidenced in a recent Instagram post, which shows her on the Gazelle Glider, pulling ropes, lifting weights and medicine-ball moves).

Ciara does a mix of plyometric movements and weight training to get a good balance of cardio, while still maintaining her muscle tone. But she has had to do some training modifications since becoming pregnant.

“I can’t do crunches or lay on my stomach anymore, but we still do things that are close to what I would do if I wasn’t pregnant,” she told Fitness magazine. “It’s all about still keeping that energy up, still keeping the cardio strong and just having balance in your body overall.”

While doctors do advise against scuba diving, horseback riding, or any contact sport that could cause blunt-force trauma to the abdomen, if you’re having a healthy pregnancy, exercise isn’t going to harm your baby (though you should always ask your doctor before starting a new routine). Exercise will tire you out more quickly than it did pre-pregnancy, though. The amount of blood a woman has increases during pregnancy by about 50 percent, and her heart needs to work harder to push all that blood around—including circulating it through the placenta, an extra organ. So you can work just as hard doing less than you did before you were pregnant and be twice as exhausted!

Exercising through out your pregnancy not only gets you in a better place to drop the pregnancy weight faster post-birth, but it helps with your ability to breathe during labor and gives you the strength to push when you’re body is telling you it’s completely tapped out. Research has also shown that working out while pregnant can help prevent gestational diabetes and C-section births.

Oh, and working out also helps with those sometimes-nasty pregnancy mood swings. Once your endorphins kick in, it’s a natural high that can balance those Debbie Downer feelings that might occasionally creep up thanks to hormone overload. And bonus: according to a recent study, Canadian researchers have found that just 20-minute workouts three times a week while pregnant, leads to excelled brain development in your baby. Yep, a little physical activity for you could make your baby smarter!

Check here for signs you should stop exercising and consult your doctor.

TELL US: What’s your pregnancy workout routine? Do you feel better after exercising?

Plus: Take our quiz to find out what your ideal pregnancy weight is.

Pregnancy Workouts: Best 10 Minute Workout
Pregnancy Workouts: Best 10 Minute Workout
Pregnancy Workouts: Best 10 Minute Workout

Image of Ciara courtesy of S_Bukley/Shutterstock.

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Gestational Diabetes Could Lead to Heart Disease

Monday, March 17th, 2014

According to new research by Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, the results of a 20-year study in the Journal of the American Heart Association show that pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes may be more at risk of developing heart disease later in life.

Nearly 20 percent of pregnant women will develop gestational diabetes—a form of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy, and that can lead to giving birth to larger babies, which may require a C-section. Heightened hormone levels during pregnancy weaken the effects of insulin, which normally allows cells to absorb glucose from the blood. Glucose screenings to test for gestational diabetes are usually done between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

With diet and possible prescription medicines, women who develop gestational diabetes are usually able to control their blood sugar without harming their baby’s health. But having gestational diabetes does make women more likely to develop diabetes 5 to 10 years after giving birth (half of all women with gestation diabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years of gestational diabetes), and having gestational diabetes may also raise the risk of ADHD in your child.

If your family has a history of diabetes, you have had an unexplained miscarriage at some point, or are over 25 or were overweight before becoming pregnant, you could be at risk of developing gestational diabetes. You can also have gestational diabetes with one pregnancy and not the next. However, if you’ve had gestational diabetes once, you have a 60 percent chance of developing it again, according to the American Diabetes Association.

The new study—which tracked 898 women between the ages of 18 and 30 for 20 years—found that women who developed gestational diabetes while pregnant also are at risk for developing atherosclerosis (when the arteries around the heart become clogged by fatty substances). As Medical News Today reports, this could eventually lead to heart attacks and cardiovascular diseases.

Diet and exercise are the best ways to manage gestational diabetes, and fend off heart disease. For those who have already been diagnosed with gestational diabetes—like I was—there’s no reason to be depressed. I was over 35, with a family history of diabetes, but by cutting out white flour, refined sugars, and eventually most fruits too, I was able to keep my gestational diabetes in check, and my son was a healthy (but not too large) 7 pounds, 7 ounces. No C-section necessary!

TELL US: Are you at risk for gestational diabetes? How will you adjust your diet and exercise? Did you have gestational diabetes? Share your experiences.

The Importance of Glucose Testing
The Importance of Glucose Testing
The Importance of Glucose Testing

Image of pregnant woman doing yoga courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Why Doctors Don’t Want You to Have Twins

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

With IVF treatments, twins have basically become the new norm—46 percent of IVF births are multiples, mostly twins. But now fertility experts want to change that. The new goal: single births, even when using IVF.  Why? Twins have a much higher risk of being preemies and having serious health problems that could potentially last a lifetime.

The most recent info from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that 37 percent of IVF babies, who are multiples, are born premature, while only 3 percent of babies born without fertility treatments are twins, and of those about 12 percent are preterm.

Many women who’ve struggled to have kids are excited to have twins—even asking their physicians for twins—because they may not have the money for multiple IVF treatments (each round can cost up to $20k!), or they would love to have two kids at once, and never have to go through pregnancy again! But doctors fear that couples are making a rash decision without really knowing the increased medical risks for babies and moms (risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are higher).

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine’s recent guidelines state that women should be counseled on the risks of multiple births and embryo transfers and that this discussion should be noted in their medical records. According to the guidelines, “for women with reasonable medical odds of success, those under 35 should be offered single embryo transfer and no more than two at a time.” They are open to more embryos being implanted, if the woman is over 35.

According to Valley News, with stronger screening of embryos, success rates for single embryos could be nearly as good as when two or more are used, say experts. The new techniques include maturing the embryos a few days longer, improving viability and allowing cells to be sampled for chromosome screening. Embryos can be frozen to allow test results to come back and more precisely time the transfer to the womb.

Taking these steps with single embryos results in fewer miscarriages and tubal pregnancies, healthier babies with fewer genetic defects and lower hospital bills from birth complications, many fertility specialists say.

I’m really torn on this subject, because I don’t think any of us want more Octomoms running around out there, or kids with health problems. But—and it’s a big but—all of the women I’ve known who’ve had IVF (and I should note that all of them have been over 35), have had twins, and are beyond thrilled with their decision to have multiple embryos implanted. Many of them did have complicated births—including extended bed rest, spotting, C-sections, and breathing problems in the children that caused them to stay in NICU for weeks, up to months after their births.

All of that said, as far as I know every single one of them is a happy, healthy kid with no lingering medical issues (at least so far—fingers crossed!). And even though the pregnancies and births were more complicated, required more doctor visits, and now they have twice the expenses with two little ones running around at the same time, the parents’ love for their two cuties made all of that initial anxiety worth it for them, and they would never, ever want to have traded that experience in for a single birth.

TELL US: Do you think women should be discouraged from having twins? Do you have twins? Tell us your story!

Use our Ovulation Calculator to see when you’re most likely to get pregnant. Then, see the 13 tell-tale signs you’re expecting.

Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples
Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples
Baby Names: How To Name Twins and Multiples

Image of twins courtesy of Shutterstock.

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