Diabetes & Pregnancy

Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, discusses diabetes and pregnancy.

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Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, discusses diabetes and pregnancy.
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Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Heather Jenkins, MD, CCFP

Duration: 2 minutes, 19 seconds

Pregnancy and diabetes is a common concern for women, although in reality not many people actually go on to develop diabetes in pregnancy.

Things that might make you a bit more concerned about testing for that would include if you had a previously quite large baby, if anyone in your family had diabetes, or even a relative that had diabetes in pregnancy. Certainly that would be a good indication to test for diabetes.

Also if you're someone that started your pregnancy a little bit heavier than you normally are or if you've gained quite a bit of weight in your pregnancy, you can expect that you will be asked to test for diabetes, usually at the end of your second trimester.

So diabetes in pregnancy is generally felt to be due to a resistance to the hormone insulin that can increase as your weight increases. This is similar to a type of diabetes that people can get when they grow older and also become overweight. Essentially you're not able to metabolize your sugar as effectively as you did before you were pregnant.

Other ways that really help to metabolize your sugar so that you don't beomce diabetic or least that you can minimize the likelihood of it, is to eat well, and the emphasis on that is actually eating substantially less carbohydrates and in foods like that we're talking rices, pastas, potatoes, starches, lot of breads, those sort of things.

Another really important thing that's helpful is to exercise and maintain a healthy body weight, and also a healthy weight gain during your pregnancy.

Your physician and your midwife can help you set some guidelines about what would be reasonable for you in terms of weight gain during your pregnancy. Remember that weight gain in pregnancy is normal.

If you have any concerns about not eating enough calories then you should speak to your care provider. It's actually quite dangerous not to eat enough calories and be underweight in your pregnancy as well. Overall if you have any concerns about weight gain in pregnancy, diabetes in pregnancy or am I eating right?

You can always speak to your doctor, your midwife, and if they have any concerns you can refer them onto either a nutritionist or a dietitian.

Presenter: Dr. Heather Jenkins, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.