Mamas on Bedrest: ACOG Issues New Guidelines for Gestational Diabetes Management

July 26th, 2013

Green_JournalHi Mamas,
While Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a less frequent reason for being prescribed Bedrest, GDM can significantly complicate pregnancy as well as maternal and fetal health. Close management of GDM and tight control of blood sugars is essential for best pregnancy outcomes.

In the August issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers report that new studies comparing single step and 2 step GDM screening indicate that 2 step screening, which is the current course of screening in the US, is still the preferred method of care. Many other countries use the single step method, but ACOG researchers feel more researcher needs to be done before recommending changing screening protocols.

The two step screening process requires pregnant women between 24 and 28 wks gestation drink a 50gm glucose solution followed by blood glucose levels taken one hour later. If a woman’s blood sugar levels are elevated, the test is repeated using a 100gm solution and blood levels drawn 3 hours later. If the second test comes back elevated, the woman is diagnosed with GDM and started on dietary management first, than oral medications and/or insulin injections are added if necessary to reach and maintain proper blood sugar levels.

According to ACOG’s report, 4 million American women give birth annually and 7% will develop GDM. GDM complicates pregnancy by putting mamas at increased risk of pregnancy induced hypertension, pre-eclampsia, c-section delivery and developing Type II Diabetes later in life. Infants born to mothers with GDM are at risk of macrosomia (being large for gestational age), hypoglycemia, birth trauma and c-section delivery.

GDM is a relatively common occurrence during pregnancy and is on the rise with the national rise in obesity and mamas delaying pregnancy until later in life. ACOG reaffirming it’s recommendation for the 2 step GDM screening procedure goes far in detecting GDM early and starting treatments as soon as possible when needed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *