In a nutshell
This study investigated how weight gain in pregnant women with gestational diabetes affected growth of the fetus while in the uterus. The study found that by using diet, restricting weight gain in pregnant women with gestational diabetes resulted in healthier growth of the baby.
Gestational diabetes can occur during pregnancy. It occurs when the pregnant woman has high levels of glucose (sugar) in her blood during the pregnancy. It is known that gestational diabetes has negative effects on both the mother and the offspring. Often the way gestational diabetes is controlled is by restricting the diet. A way of telling how the diabetes is controlled is by using a blood test called an HbA1c. This measures approximately what the average blood sugar has been over the last two to three months.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 382 pregnant women. All of these patients had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes before they reached 34 weeks pregnant. The women were split into three groups. One group was considered to have had “restricted” weight gain during their pregnancy, where their diet was highly restricted resulting in a very small weight gain. The second group had “appropriate" weight gain where their diet was less restrictive therefore they gained a moderate amount of weight. The final group was considered to have “excessive” weight gain, where the diet was not strict and the patients gained large amounts of weight during pregnancy.
The patients were monitored for between 5 and 15 weeks, depending on when they were diagnosed and when they gave birth. It was found that on average, the patients in the “restricted” group gained 0kg. The patients in the “appropriate” group gained 3kg, and the patients in the “excessive” group gained 5kg on average. The patients in the “excessive” group had an increase in their HbA1c from when they were diagnosed to after giving birth, while this was not seen in the “restricted” group. In fact, the “restricted” group saw a decreased in HbA1c from when they were diagnosed to after giving birth. The babies who were born to mothers in the “restricted group” had a much lower birth weight compared to the babies born to mothers in the “excessive” group. The infants born to mothers in the “restricted” group were not more likely to be too small (underweight).
The bottom line
The authors concluded that in pregnant women with gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain (related to excessive dietary intake) was associated with an increase in birth weight of their babies, and an increase in HbA1c (average blood sugar) for the mother.
The fine print
This study was medium sized but confirmed results which have been seen elsewhere.
Discuss your diet plan with your doctor and nutritionist during your pregnancy.
Published By :
Sep 25, 2018
If you sign up for Medivizor, you'll receive PERSONALIZED updates that are JUST FOR YOU. Want to give it a try?