Avera Medical Minute AMcK: A closer look at Gestational Diabetes - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Avera Medical Minute AMcK: A closer look at Gestational Diabetes

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A woman's body goes through several changes during pregnancy however in some cases their eating habits may also change. Gestational diabetes is a common side effect of pregnancy but may actually promote prenatal health.

39 weeks are in the books and Jodi Wendte is ready for baby number two. So far the pregnancy has gone without a hitch.

"Yeah pretty routine except for the gestational diabetes!" Said Wendte.

It's a condition Jodi is very familiar with, she received the same diagnosis in her first pregnancy 

"I was hoping that I didn't have it again but I did expect that it probably would be the same I now that there's an increased risk the second time around if you've had it before." Said Wendte.

"There are hormonal changes that happen with the pregnancy that make you more prone to insulin resistance which increases your risk for diabetes and that happens with the placenta that grows there." Said Dr. Brenda Kallemeyn, an OB/GYN with the Avera Medical Group Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Nationally, gestational diabetes affects less than 10% of expectant mothers. However, in Sioux Falls the average is tripled at nearly 30% of pregnancies. Which means women like Jodi have to add another step to the pregnancy plan.

"Checking your blood sugars four times a day and you're tied to that and medication and lifestyle changes; it can be overwhelming luckily it's temporary in this situation." Said Wendte.

Pregnancy is supposed to be a time to satisfy cravings, but with gestational diabetes, it means counting carbs and making sure you don't over do it.

"Definitely eliminating sweets is probably the biggest change to the diet. So it's been a little frustrating at times but it's definitely manageable." Said Wendte.

Gestational diabetes is just one condition that Dr. Kallemeyn screens for in moms-to-be. While it may be viewed just as a temporary lifestyle change that clears up after delivery; it's not something expectant mothers should turn a blind eye to.

"The scariest things that can happen with gestational diabetes that's not well-controlled is babies can die in utero, they can also grow very large and that makes them have a higher risk for birth injuries like shoulder distortia or nerve injuries during delivery." Said Dr. Kallemeyn.

It's a serious condition but is very manageable. Jodi says it was easy to feel overwhelmed by all the changes, but her diabetes has helped keep things in perspective.

"It's temporary and there's so many medical conditions out there that affect babies that this is something that could be managed and it's really reassuring to know that you can have some control over that and still have a healthy baby." Said Wendte.

Not to mention a healthy mom as well.

"It's helped prevent some of those extra pounds from pregnancy too! So I feel good about that part of it." Said Wendte.

"It is scary but it is something that you can take control of and make yourself healthier in the long run." Said Dr. Kallemeyn.

So when baby arrives, there's only one thing Jodi wants visitors to bring.

"You don't need to bring gifts just bring chocolate to the hospital at the end!" Said Wendte.

Audrey Ann Wendte was born on September 18, the day after we taped this story.

For new and expectant mothers who want to learn more, there is the Maybe a Baby event coming up.  The event will be held on Tuesday, October 15th from 6:30-8:30pm at the Avera McKennan Women's Center. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA. 
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