Pregnancy is one of those odd things; many women can have multiple children, and all of their pregnancies are unremarkable and without any kind of medical complications. The children are born after a full term, and aside from the discomfort experienced during the labor and delivery, the mother is back to normal quickly and the child is healthy.
At the other extreme, some women, on their very first pregnancy, may develop gestational diabetes at some point. Gestational diabetes can be dangerous medical condition for the mother and the complications can place both the mother and baby’s lives at risk. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is now recommending all pregnant mothers be tested for gestational diabetes after 24 weeks.
Many doctors already do so, but now, the failure to test could be viewed as medical malpractice, as the consequences of gestational diabetes include preeclampsia, sometimes known as toxemia or pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH).
The complications of gestational diabetes can be life threatening for the mother, and include seizures and strokes. The only treatment that relieves the symptoms is delivery of the baby.
It is important to monitor this condition carefully, because the doctor has to balance the gestational development of the child with the potential for the mother suffering a deadly seizure or stroke.
The recommendation comes as risk factors, such as obesity and pregnancies among women older than age 25, are increasing.
The condition raises the risk of the infant suffering a birth injury, such as a dislocated shoulder and the potential for developing diabetes later in life.
Be sure and ask your doctor about the implications of the test if you have any risk factors during your pregnancy.