Health Tip Diabetes During Pregnancy

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Active Baby Is Kicking My Belly

I am only 27 weeks pregnant by now, but I felt like a mother already. When I’m alone at home (my husband went to work), I always talk softly as I sooth my belly (like talking to my baby). In respond, I felt like he is kicking me. Sometimes, it’s only a slow kick, but there were a few times I felt like he kick me really hard and very constant. He (my baby) really is an active kicking baby.

A woman will start feeling the soft kicking movement in the belly when they are over 16 weeks (4 months) pregnant. Some woman, who is first time pregnant, might not recognize or realize the movement unless they are told by other people.

Kicking movement is a common progress due to the baby growth. As the baby grows by week after another, the movement becomes more constant and harder. It also becomes more significant and noticeable by the mother.

However, the movements made by a baby boy are different than a baby girl. A baby boy usually moves more frequent than a baby girl. The movements made by a baby boy also harder than a baby girl.

In other word, we could simply guest the baby’s gender from their kicking movements. An active kicking baby usually indicates that the baby is a boy, instead of a girl. So, let’s make a guest of our baby’s gender from their movement, and confirm it with the ultrasound. Good luck…

Gestational Diabetes Complications and Risk

The complications of gestational diabetes are manageable and preventable. The key to prevention is careful control of blood sugar levels just as soon as the diagnosis of gestational diabetes is made. Gestational diabetes can cause complications to both of the mother and the baby. What are the complications to the mother and the baby?

To the mother, gestational diabetes complications are:
  1. Abortion - premature fetal death
  2. Genital infection - virus infection at genital area
  3. Polyhydramnios - excessive amniotic fluid (could cause birth defect)
  4. Ketosis – coma or death (too little insulin with the combination of high blood sugar and high ketones)
To the baby, gestational diabetes complications are:
  1. Macrosomnia - Weight over 4 kg (extra glucose stored as fat)
  2. Mental defiency - spasticity, and muscular weakness
  3. Preterm birth - premature labor (born earlier than EDD date)
  4. Intrauterine death - death during pregnancy
  5. Hypoglycemia - low blood sugar after delivered
  6. Jaundice - yellow color in the skin, the mucous membranes, or the eyes
In Malaysia, a woman with gestational diabetes is classified as high risk pregnancy, just as a woman with high blood pressure. To prevent unwanted cases (like death), they must give birth at the hospital. They are advised to immediately go to the hospital if they feel their baby is unmoving (the baby stop kicking), feels pain in belly (extraordinary pain) or still don’t give birth as the EDD date (overdue/delayed delivery).

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gestational Diabetes Cause Baby Become Fat

As I chat with the doctor, he explained that gestational diabetes can cause baby gain weight and become fat. A baby to a diabetic usually born above 3.0 to 4.x kilograms, differ than a baby to a normal mother. For more self understanding, I did a little search through the net.

Gestational diabetes did cause a baby become fat, also called as ‘macrosomia’. It means "large body" and refers to a baby that is considerably larger than normal. It also one of the major problems a woman with gestational diabetes faces.

The baby receives all nutrients directly from the mother's blood, including extra glucose. It’s because, gestational diabetes’ mother usually does not produce enough insulin and the extra glucose goes to the baby through the blood. When the baby’s pancreas senses the extra glucose, it produces more insulin in an attempt to use the glucose. The extra glucose however gets stored as fat, make the baby gain weight and become larger than normal.

Occasionally, if the baby too large to be delivered through the vagina, a Cesarean delivery becomes necessary. Thus, the growth of the baby should be monitor and be determined by doing physical examination upon the mother’s belly. However, in many cases (such as my case), ultrasound is used to measure the size of the baby.

Baby become fat caused by gestational diabetes is manageable and preventable. The prevention is you must control your blood sugar levels very carefully as soon as the diagnosis of gestational diabetes is made. By maintaining normal blood sugar levels, it is less likely that your baby develops macrosomia.


24 Weeks Pregnancy Ultrasound

Casual ultrasound should be avoided during pregnancy, even if it is considered safe to the mother and the baby. However, ultrasound should be perform to provide valuable information leading to treatment that can improve the chances of having a healthy baby.

At 24 weeks, the baby gains more weight as their body begins to fill out. This weight is in muscle, bone mass and the growing organs and tissues. By the end of the week, the weight could top to more than 600 grams. As for the mother, the uterus is 3 to 5 centimeters above the navel.

Last July 10, 2006 I had done my 24 weeks pregnancy ultrasound. It is to confirm my baby’s age. It was requested by the nurse who has attended me when I visit her on July 2nd, 2006 at the clinic (22 weeks by that time). The nurse informed me that my baby is extraordinary large as my womb height is 25 cm, about 3cm differ.

After the ultrasound, the doctor told me that I really am 24 weeks pregnant, the fluid is normal, my baby seems ok and that my baby is a boy. What a relief to hear such good news, chase away all negative suspicion.

24 weeks ultrasound picture, of a baby boy

Later, we had a short chat about gestational diabetes and its complications. From the short chat, I came with a conclusion that gestational diabetes can cause baby gain weight and becomes fat. Feel free to read it in my next posts.

Visit To The Women Health Clinic Is A Must If Pregnant

In Malaysia, once you were confirms that you are pregnant, you have to go to the nearest government clinic and register a ‘red book’ as soon as possible. For the registration, you will be asked few question of your health history, your family’s health history and other personal question such as your marital status, marital date, your last period date and ext. Next, they will measure your height, weight and blood pressure. They will also take some blood for HBU and RBS sampling. After that, they will give you a date for an occasional visit to the clinic.

Instead of the clinic, you also have to go to hospital. It’s because the clinic only handles normal cases, attended by two or three nurses and the hospital handles more complicated cases as it has many skill doctors and nurses. In additional, the clinic only operates 8 hours per day and non-operate on Friday and Saturday, the hospital however operate 24 hours everyday non-stop.

My latest appointment was last July 10, 2006. On that day I was appointed to meet the doctor upon my diabetes. A day before the appointment, I was needed to attend the BSP (as usual). Thus on July 9, 2006, I went to the clinic twice on 8.30 am and 11.30 am, twice to the hospital on 5.30 pm and 9.30 pm for BSP. It really tires me and took lots of my time. And the results of the test are 5.0, 6.2, 5.2 and 5.0.

I really did try hard to lower the sugar level in my blood. I eat the pills they gave me, watch over my diet and do some activity. However, the result are only as per above. It seems to decrease but the doctor still wants me to attend the very same process next month. Honestly, I think I just got fed up and feel hopeless.

Even though I am a fulltime housewife and got all the free time for the visits, unfortunately I am not a good motorbike rider; I cannot drives and there is no other transportation around the area. Thus, every time I had an appointment, my husband will have to drives me around and he either has to apply his annual leave or his unpaid leave. Thus, the visits not only tire me but my husband as well. My conclusion is, the closer the expectant date, the frequent the visit.