Gestational diabetes starts during pregnancy, especially in women over age 25. Being overweight is a risk factor. This form of diabetes usually begins in the second trimester and is associated with preeclampsia, a dangerous condition characterized by high blood pressure and excess protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy. With treatment, Gestational diabetes usually resolves after the birth of the baby, although both mother and child will have a greater risk for developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
Children born to mothers with Gestational diabetes are at risk for…
- being born overly large leading to cesarean deliveries,
- birth injuries,
- obesity, and
- Type 2 diabetes.
Prevention of Gestational diabetes should actually begin before conception. Researchers at the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, USA, looked at women’s medical records before conception to get an idea of what measurements could indicate trouble ahead.
Their study, reported on in the journal Gynecology and Endocrinology in July 2014, included 349 women enrolled in the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study…
- women with large waists had a 66 percent higher risk of developing Gestational diabetes than did women with normal waist sizes.
- their babies had a 41 percent higher risk of being overweight at birth.
Large waist measurements in the mothers made for more risk of overweight babies than did the their ratio of height to weight. Mothers with the highest body mass index (BMI) tended to have overweight babies, as did women with high blood fats and those who were insensitive to insulin.
The risks associated with waist sizes are not surprising. Belly fat acts as a kind of gland affecting carbohydrate and fat regulation. According to the National Heart Foundation in the United States…
- a woman’s waist size should not exceed 80 centimeters, or 31.5 inches.
- women with a waist size over 88 centimeters or 34.5 inches are at risk for health problems.
To measure your waist size, first find the top of your hip bones and your lowest ribs in the front. Exhale normally and wrap a tape measure around your abdomen half way between the two.
If your waist size is larger than what is needed for good health, then it is time to reduce your calorie intake. See your health care provider for direction re a sensible weight loss plan…
- filling up on salads and vegetables will help to keep you satisfied without taking in too many calories.
- exercises specific to the abdomen include sit-ups, crunches, and twisting motions of the waist.
Getting your weight and waist measurement down to normal measurements before pregnancy will be doing you and your child a favor.