Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy, typically between the 24th
and 28th weeks. Most women will experience some change in glucose levels during pregnancy due to fluctuating hormone levels. Gestational diabetes develops when glucose levels rise but a woman’s pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to regulate
blood sugar levels. Developing gestational diabetes does not mean a woman was diabetic prior to her pregnancy, however approximately 20% of women with gestational diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. Women with gestational diabetes
must make lifestyle changes to ensure their health as well as their baby’s.
Jacobson, MD, Obstetrics/Gynecology, discusses when women should be screened and what changes an expectant mother should make after diagnosis:
Women are screened for gestational diabetes approximately 24-28 weeks into pregnancy. However, women who
are at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes—risk factors such as obesity, previous instance of gestational diabetes, family history of diabetes—will likely require earlier screening.
It’s important to keep gestational
diabetes in check to prevent complications that could affect your baby, such as excessive birth weight, increased risk of cesarean section, increased risk of birth trauma, premature birth, low infant blood sugar at birth, and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes
and obesity later in life. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can also result in a baby’s death.
Have questions about gestational
diabetes or advice to offer other women newly diagnosed with gestational diabetes? Join our new online community The Parent 'Hood to start a conversation today. Click here to
find out more.
For exhausted new parents, it can be a relief when your infant finally settles down to sleep for the night
(or even just a couple of hours) but there can be fear as well. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) can happen even when all the right safety measures are practiced. The exact cause of SIDS is unknown. SIDS is most common in infants less than
six months of age but can occur between one month and one year.
While nothing can prevent every case, there are ways to significantly reduce the risk of SIDS. William MacKendrick, MD, Neonatologist at NorthShore, shares safe sleeping recommendations every parent should practice:
Have your own questions about safe sleeping or another parenting topic? Join the conversation in our new online community:
The Parent 'Hood.
In return for sweet smiles and abundant cuteness, babies ask only for love, affection, the right to be awake when you
want to sleep and nourishment. What form that nourishment takes is up to you.
New mothers who are unable to breastfeed should not feel guilty because formula is an effective way to feed your baby and ensure he or she receives proper nutrition. But, the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby are many and exclusive
breastfeeding for the first few months of a baby’s life is recommended. New moms should take note that many of the same benefits of breastfeeding can be achieved through a combination of breastfeeding and supplementing with formula.
Ann Borders, MD, and
Emmet Hirsch, MD, obsectrics/gynecology at NorthShore, share some of the valuable health benefits of breastfeeding:
Did you breastfeed? What were the advantages/disadvantages for you? For more advice on breastfeeding from Ann Borders, MD, click
Mother's Day might have passed but every day can be a celebration of moms, moms-to-be and the many adventures of motherhood. For expectant mothers, the experts at NorthShore University HealthSystem have created a checklist for the stages of pregnancy, week
by week. Every mommy-to-be can learn how to take care of herself during each and every stage of pregnancy and track her baby’s developments along the way.
Click on the infographic
to learn more about the stages of pregnancy and how a mommy-to-be can prepare for baby.