What is Gestational diabetes? and what if a surrogate is affected?

In the surrogacy journey, one of the health concerns of the intended parent is the development of gestational diabetes to the surrogate mother. It is essential to know about gestational surrogacy and some essential knowledge on gestational diabetes in surrogacy.

Gestational diabetes

What is gestational diabetes?

Diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy is clinically termed gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes affects the utilization of sugar in the cell just as other types of diabetes and causes increase blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar level impacts pregnancy and the health of unborn children.

Gestational diabetes management involves dietary management, physical exercise, and medications that are safe during pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes resolves after giving birth to the child, but it increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the mother/surrogate in the future. 

How does gestational diabetes affect a surrogate?

Gestational diabetes affects any pregnant woman who may the actual mother or surrogate mother of the unborn child.

Gestational diabetes increases the risk of hypertension, C-section delivery, preeclampsia, and future diabetes.

It is always better to take precautionary measures to avert gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes requires medical attention at the very initial stage to avoid unnecessary risks.

How does gestational diabetes affect an unborn child?

Gestational diabetes can increase the blood sugar of gestational carriers that negatively impact the health of the unborn child.

Following are health impacts on the offspring due to gestational diabetes of the surrogate:

Excessive Birth Weight

Gestational diabetes increases the birth weight of the baby. Nine pounds or more bodyweight of the baby during birth creates difficulty to deliver and increases the risk of injury or stuck during birth. Therefore C-section is often required to deliver the child.

Early (Preterm) Birth

The preterm delivery possibility increases with high blood sugar. Sometimes, doctors recommend early delivery to avoid born of large size baby and associated complications.

Breathing Difficulties

Baby born after struggling often have breathing difficulty because of respiratory distress.

Low Blood Sugar

Gestational diabetic mothers can deliver a child with a hypoglycemic condition or low blood sugar.

Obesity & Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of being obese or develop type 2-diabetes for babies at a later stage of life.

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

Following are some risk factors for mother/surrogate to develop gestational diabetes like

  • Obesity/over-weight
  • Physical inactivity
  • History of gestational diabetes at the previous delivery time
  • Pre-diabetic patient
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Family history of diabetes
  • History of delivery baby more than 9 pounds body weight

Healthy lifestyle measures can eliminate most of these risk factors.

How do surrogate selection processes reduce the risk of gestational diabetes?

Hiring a surrogate from a surrogacy agency is usually safe.

Surrogacy agencies have their standard policy for the selection of surrogates.

Following are some health-specific qualifications require becoming a surrogate includes:

  • Age range between 21 to 40 years for gestational carrier
  • Have a history of the previous delivery
  • Uncomplicated previous delivery history
  • Maintained BMI i.e. height-weight proportion must be under 33
  • Previous experience to carry for full-term
  • Willing to take medication and injectable whenever necessary
  • Non-smoker and no previous history of illegal drug-intake
  • Avert to consume alcohol during the procedure and pregnancy
  • Not having sexual transmitting infections
  • No anxiety and depression history
  • Have not traveled to Zika infected country for the previous 6 months

How to Avoid Gestational Diabetes?

Following are some healthy living habits require during the gestational period for a surrogate mother to avoid gestational diabetes risk.

However, these measures do not give assurance that this is sufficient to eliminate gestational diabetes, as the previous lifestyles also impact health during pregnancy.

Following lifestyle measures helpful to give healthier birth of a child:

Healthy food habit

“Food is medicine” is the tagline for everyone including pregnant women.

Avoid ‘fast food’, packed processed food items during pregnancy.

High fiber, low fat and low-calorie diet prepared with lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, lean meat, and whole-grain are ideal during pregnancy.

The selection of food items and the quantity of each ingredient are essential for healthy food habits, especially during gestation.

Exercise

Physical activity and exercise help a woman to keep active during gestation.

Walking, yoga sessions, joining fitness classes are the ways to avoid gestational diabetes by properly utilizing blood sugar levels.

Exercise also helps unborn baby to maintain their health.

Weight

Weight management requires starting before conceiving is helpful for avoiding gestational diabetes.

A combination of healthy food and exercise keep body weight maintain during pregnancy.

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