One of the most common side effects of a gestational diabetes diagnosis is guilt. Women everywhere, once they are diagnosed, feel scared and overwhelmed and guilty. These women feel like they have done something wrong to cause gestational diabetes and they are worried that it will hurt their baby and worse — it will be all their fault.
It is important to know that there is no reason to feel guilty about a gestational diabetes diagnosis. No matter how old you are, how much you weigh, or what your history is, gestational diabetes is not your fault. That is what you need to know first and foremost.
There are risk factors that can increase the odds of having gestational diabetes, but these are not surefire ways to tell that someone will get diagnosed. Most of these risk factors are unavoidable.
• Race: Certain racial and ethnic groups have a higher occurrence rate of diabetes. These include African Americans, Latinas, Asians, and Native Americans.
• Age: Women over the age of 25 are more likely to have gestational diabetes. This risk increases with age, especially for women over the age of 35.
• Weight: Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of having gestational diabetes.
• History: Having a history of diabetes or pre-diabetes, a family history of type 2 diabetes, a previous gestational diabetes pregnancy, or giving birth to a baby that had a high birth weight are all risk factors for gestational diabetes.
When Risk Factors Don’t Matter
Although the gestational diabetes risk factors are important for screening purposes (your doctor may test you early if you have multiple risk factors), they do not necessarily mean that you will or will not have gestational diabetes. GD is still pretty rare, affecting less than 20% of all pregnancies.
Also, risk factors seem not to matter sometimes. Many times, women who have all risk factors and even a host of other health problems will have no problems at all. On the other hand, a particularly healthy woman who has absolutely no risk factors may get gestational diabetes. This is why all women are tested for gestational diabetes whether they have risk factors or not.
All women are tested in their second trimester. If a woman has strong risk factors, her doctor may have her test early or even more than once. This is just to be on the safe side, as a healthy pregnancy is always the main priority.
So, you see, women of all types are tested and affected by gestational diabetes. Just because you have one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you caused your gestational diabetes. There should be no guilt, only action as you do your best to have the very healthiest pregnancy possible. Click here for more information.