Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about Gestational Diabetes. This is a very serious health problem affecting our Samoan women of child bearing ages. What are some of the risk factors
- Overweight Body mass index (BMI) greater than 30
- Maternal age over the age of 25 years
- Certain ethnic groups – Asian, Pacific women , Maori women
- Western diet – High carbohydrate , High fat and sugar intake predisposes becoming overweight before they become pregnant .
- Previous gestational diabetes
- Poor previous baby deliveries
Screening during pregnancy.
- If a Samoan pregnant lady has any of these problems – she should be screened very early in the pregnancy for gestational
- The test is a special sugar drink – 75 gm sugar intake and blood sugar is measured .
- If the mother is diagnosed – we will be referred to the Diabetic team in the local hospital and it becomes a priority to look at the antenatal She is then assessed how to manage, she would go on a special diet, and may need medications such as insulin to keep her sugar levels under control and stop the baby from getting too big.
- All pregnant women are screened at 20- 28 weeks , but our Samoan pregnant ladies should be screened earlier. It is very important to screen to prevent bad comes for Mum and the baby.
Complications to the Samoan Pregnant woman
- Can develop early labour
- Increased complications in the labour – dangerous vaginal delivery
- Post delivery – large bleed
- Instrumental delivery – forceps or vacuum
- Vaginal delivery – end up an emergency caesarean section –
Unwanted effects to the Baby
- Large , but floppy baby – over 4 kg – refer to the baby picture
- Birth defects
- Shoulder damage to the baby – shoulder dystocia – as it gets blocked in the birth canal
- Birth trauma due to hypoxia – baby got stuck as too big for the birth canal- can brain damage to the newborn baby
Message to young Mums and all pregnant ladies.
- Be screened for Diabetes before pregnancy , during and 6 weeks after delivery
- Be careful with the weight gain , if concerned talk to the GP and the hospital doctors
- See your doctor before you want to get pregnant to plan your pregnancy
- Book early to the Hospital
- Nutrition – is very important to plan , look at foods that will give you and baby energy and provide good
- Good planning and then follow up with the local GP or Hospital will ensure a healthy out come .
If you would like to ask or find out more, please contact the cheif editor of Australia Samoa, Iniini Samoa or contact,
Powell St Family Practice – we are on the Face book and we would be delighted to make an appointment with you or your family to help to plan a good pregnancy or a healthy outcome and prevent or screen for gestational Diabetes
Tofa Soifua Dr Olataga Alofivae Doorbinnia