Type 3 (Gestational Diabetes)

Type 3 Diabetes, or "gestational diabetes," is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects from 2% to 4% of all pregnancies, and increases the risk - for both mother and child - of developing diabetes.

At one time women with diabetes were often advised to avoid having children. Now, with prenatal planning, careful management of your diabetes and close monitoring of your baby, you can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. If you have diabetes and plan on becoming pregnant, talk to your health professional first. Your blood glucose levels need to be well controlled during early pregnancy to help prevent birth defects. A baby's organs, including the heart and those that will form the brain, spinal column, muscles and nerves, are formed by the 6th to 8th week of pregnancy.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:
- A family history of diabetes
- Obesity
- Being of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Island or Aboriginal descent


In gestational diabetes mellitus are the same as Type II, symptoms include:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Excess weight
- Drowsiness
- Blurred vision
- Tingling and numbness in hands and feet
- Skin infections
- Slow healing of cuts, particularly on the feet
- Itching


The nutrition care plan includes regular exercise except for individuals that have an increased risk of premature babies, vaginal bleeding, anemia, cardiac disease and thyroid disease. Caloric intake is very individualized. The four main goals are:
- To achieve a strict and near normal metabolic control
- To achieve and maintain optimal growth pattern for the fetus
- To encourage controlled weight gain in the mother with progressing pregnancy
- To meet nutrition requirements of the mother and the fetus with regulated diets

It is also important to:
- Eliminate sugar
- Eat small frequent meals
- Monitor glucose levels
- Administer insulin if glucose levels before meals are greater than 5mmol/L
- Monitor the fetus
- Spread carbohydrate intake evenly throughout the day
- Avoid saccharin and cyclamate
- Consume sucrose, fructose and sorbitol in moderation
- Strictly avoid all alcohol consumption
- Dietary adjustments such as drinking less juice, encouraging exercise and blood sugar monitoring may be needed.

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