A Healthy Pregnancy: June 5, 2019
A doctor’s number one goal during pregnancy is to keep both mother and baby healthy. “Avoid processed foods, avoid fast foods, try to eliminate sugar as much as you can,” said Dr. Ravi Chokshi, an OB/GYN with Lee Health.
Dr. Chokshi monitors his patient’s weight and blood sugar throughout their pregnancy. “We’re catching diabetes early in them, and we are working on getting their diabetes under control before it really starts impacting the pregnancy,” he said.
A mother’s health before pregnancy can determine if she’s at risk for diabetes during pregnancy. “If they are obese, if they have a known history of diabetes in their previous pregnancies, we screen all of these patients early,” said Dr. Chokshi.
Diabetes during pregnancy, also called gestational diabetes, can cause babies to grow bigger, resulting in difficult deliveries, or C-sections. It can also cause a mother’s blood sugars to be very high and the baby’s blood sugars to be very low. “If you’re a diabetic during pregnancy, your blood sugars are uncontrolled. All that blood sugar is going to cross the placenta, go to the baby, the baby is going to create more insulin,” he said.
Gestational diabetes can also put mothers at risk for developing diabetes later in life. “The older you get, your body is naturally going to have elevated blood sugars so are we catching these patients five years before they actually become diabetic outside of pregnancy,” said Dr. Chokshi.
During pregnancy, doctors encourage mothers to maintain a nutritious and well-balanced diet. “Definitely don’t need to eat for two people because that’s asking for trouble,” he said.
If caught early, gestational diabetes can be controlled with diet and medication, if necessary. Early detection and a healthy, active pregnancy are important for the mother and baby.