(CNN) – If you are a woman and you and your partner are planning a pregnancy, it’s important to have your blood sugar levels in control before conceiving.
When a woman becomes pregnant, a glucose screening test is done. If those results reveal elevated blood glucose levels, a glucose tolerance test can help determine if both mom and baby could be at risk.
Dr. Sharon Bergquist, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University, said:
If a woman develops gestational diabetes throughout their pregnancy or has diabetes going into a pregnancy, that high blood sugar, if it’s not controlled, can lead to complications, both for the mom and the baby. For the mom, the biggest risks are that you can have a disease or development of preeclampsia. That’s when the blood pressures get very high. You can have a premature delivery, meaning you would have the baby at 37 weeks or earlier. Stillbirths become a concern. Your chance of having a C-Section increases.
For the baby, if the baby’s body is exposed to high levels of mom’s blood sugar, the baby will make more insulin and that makes the baby’s birth weight even higher. So most babies are 9 lbs or even heavier, born to women who don’t have well controlled blood sugars. And also, babies that have had that excess weight and are born heavier, have much greater likelihood of becoming obese or overweight not only as children but into their adulthood and their chances of developing diabetes later in life is a lot higher.
Medical experts say regular exercise and a healthy diet may help some women manage their glucose levels. To reduce your risk, consult your doctor to prevent any issues.