Gestational Diabetes can be defined in two groups during pregnancy. The first group consists of women who were diagnosed with Diabetes before pregnancy (type 1 or type 2) and the second group is women who are diagnosed after pregnancy. They are further broken down into two groups: insulin dependent (meaning they will require insulin to control blood sugar) and diet controlled (meaning they are able to control blood sugar with diet). Gestational Diabetes will require more monitoring during pregnancy. Diet will be a huge factor in controlling diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes during pregnancy may require hospitalization to control blood sugar. Fetal status will be assessed frequently, mostly in the third trimester. Large gestational size is common in gestational diabetes, especially in uncontrolled diabetes. Diabetes commonly goes away after delivery, however monitoring postpartum is important.
Gestational Hypertension is defined as the onset of hypertension, usually after the 20th week (Simpson, 2008. p 127). Hypertension disorders are the most common disorders in pregnancy. Once diagnosed the physician must determine the well-being and health of the mother and fetus regularly. The benefits and risks must be weighed and treatment is often needed. The signs and symptoms of hypertension are sudden increase of blood pressure, increase of protein in urine (this is why the urine is checked for protein at all visits), sudden weight gain, swelling, dizziness with or without visual disturbances, and upper gastric pain. The physician and nursing staff will continue to assess for any of these symptoms and treat accordingly.
Preterm Labor and Birth
Preterm birth is any birth delivered before 37 weeks gestation (Simpson, 2008, pp169). Preterm labor is defined as cervical change and uterine contractions that happen after 20 weeks and before 36 weeks pregnancy (Simpson, 2008, pp172). Keeping hydrated and resting frequently can help prevent preterm labor and birth. The doctor may decide to use medications in some cases to prevent preterm labor or birth.
Simpson, Kathleen Rice: Creehan, Patricia A. (2008). Perinatal Nursing. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Philadelphia, Pennysvania