Gestational Diabetes and Labour Induction – Is It Always Needed?

During pregnancy, certain hormones wreak havoc and do not allow your body to use insulin to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Insulin is what helps in converting sugar to energy, and sometimes, pregnancy does not allow that to happen which leads to high blood-sugar levels. This, unfortunately, leads to gestational diabetes. Gestational Diabetes among pregnant women means that labor has to be induced around 39-40 weeks of gestation failing which it could have adverse impacts on the unborn baby and the mother. Find out more information about the same and how to induce labor as one of the methods to ensure no neonatal complications.

Is Induction of Labour Necessary When You have Gestational Diabetes?

Some women have symptoms of GD whereas others don’t. Some can also fix it just by managing diet and some exercise whereas others need shots of insulin. A lot of health care providers recommend around 3940 weeks for inducing childbirth. The WHO says not before 41 weeks, albeit backed up by weak evidence. Guidelines for GD according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends induced labor not before 39 weeks of gestation with controlled GD.

Each case is treated individually based on the patient’s medical analysis and requirement. For many women, if the diabetes labor through the course of the pregnancy, they can most likely have labor deliveries. However, inducing labor becomes important when diabetes is not controlled to maintain the health and safety of both the baby and the mother.

Why is Labour Induction Important in Case of Gestational Diabetes?

What used to be once a relatively rare condition is now becoming more and more common. Having GD can negatively impact the health of both, mother and unborn child but it does not affect the way you give birth. You can still give birth vaginally and can also have an uncomplicated delivery. Here are some reasons why inducing labor is a good option.

1. Stillbirth

One of the main reasons for inducing childbirth in women who have GD is to prevent stillbirth. The chances of stillbirth increase significantly after the 40-week benchmark for women with GD. Therefore, sometimes, labor is induced to make sure the mother and the child are safe.

2. Larger than a Normal Baby

Women with GD usually have babies that are slightly larger. The extra sugar crosses paths with the placenta and makes your baby fatter due to the storage of insulin. Inducing labor would be important because babies can weigh up to 4.5kgs sometimes.

3. Other Complications

Macrosomia or large baby can lead to other complications as well including damage to the tailbone, blood loss, tearing, etc. Inducing childbirth can help avoid these complications.

4. Preeclampsia

A situation, which combines high blood-pressure and the presence of protein in the urine during pregnancy. This can lead to complications such as preterm labor, abruptions or even seizures that can prove to be fatal for mother and child. A study showed that induction of labor for women with mild preeclampsia between 3437 weeks helped reduce the risk of the outcome by a little bit.

5. Mother-Baby Health

During childbirth, the most critical part is to keep the mother and baby as safe as possible. GD occurs in a lot of women nowadays, and scientists say that the number might go up. Monitor your blood sugar levels continuously and if induction is required, make sure you are well read and informed about it.

How Will You be Induced?

There are multiple ways to induce labor, but if you have to go through it, you should understand it completely and all the benefits and risks involved as well.  Each way of inducing childbirth has its pros and cons. You should make sure to talk to your doctor in depth and understand which method is best suited for you after a thorough medical analysis. Here are some ways in which you can be induced.

  • A common question is “will I be induced if I have Gestational Diabetes?” The answer is yes because that is a safer option for you and your baby. Gestational diabetes can lead to a lot of complications, so it is better to induce labour than try natural methods.
  • Artificial Rupture of Membrane of ARM where an amnihook is inserted to pierce the water bag surrounding your baby labor help the baby crown. Many women opt for this option.
  • Oxytocin is another method to induce labor wherein synthetic oxytocin is inserted via an IV drip. This will engage your hormones and trigger your system into labour. Some childbirths are induced at 38 weeks due to gestational diabetes which is earlier than what the WHO recommends.
  • A low-risk option is a Foley Balloon catheter, which is placed in the vagina and inflated in the hope that the baby’s head will help encourage dilation. Since there are no drugs involved, this is a low-risk way to induce labour.
  • Prostaglandin gel is used to encourage contractions. The doctor will insert the gel to soften and dilate the cervix. Although it is a synthetic hormone, it is useful for inducing labor.

Although natural childbirth is the best way to go, sometimes circumstances are unpredictable. In those situations, one should not worry and find a solution instead. If your condition can be managed, you should ideally have a normal birth. However, GD can be controlled as well so don’t worry, follow your doctor’s advice and you will have a safe delivery for you and your baby. GD can be tried and prevented by following a healthy diet and lifestyle. Regular check-ups can also be helpful in keeping your blood sugar levels in a safe range. Make an informed decision after consulting your doctor and all the best!

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