Gestational Diabetes


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

Risk  factors

  1. Overweight Body mass index (BMI) greater  than  30
  2. Maternal age over the age of 25 years
  3. Certain ethnic groups  – Asian,  Pacific  women , Maori women
  4. Western  diet –  High carbohydrate , High  fat and sugar  intake predisposes becoming overweight  before  they become pregnant .
  5. Previous gestational  diabetes
  6. Hypertension
  7. Poor previous baby deliveries

Screening during  pregnancy.

  1. If a Samoan pregnant lady   has any of these   problems – she should be screened  very early in the  pregnancy  for  gestational
  2. The test is a special  sugar  drink  – 75 gm sugar  intake   and  blood  sugar  is measured .
  3. 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.
  4. 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    

  1. Can develop early labour
  2. Increased complications in the labour –  dangerous   vaginal  delivery
  3. Post delivery  –  large bleed
  4. Instrumental delivery –  forceps or vacuum
  5. Vaginal delivery – end up an emergency  caesarean  section –

Unwanted effects  to  the  Baby

  1. Large , but floppy baby – over 4 kg  – refer  to the  baby picture
  2. Birth defects
  3. Shoulder damage to the baby –  shoulder dystocia – as it gets blocked in the  birth canal
  4. 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.

  1. Be screened  for  Diabetes before  pregnancy , during and  6  weeks  after  delivery
  2. Be careful  with the weight  gain , if  concerned talk to the  GP and the  hospital doctors
  3. See your  doctor  before you want to get  pregnant  to plan your  pregnancy
  4. Book early to the  Hospital
  5. Nutrition – is very important to plan , look  at  foods  that will give you and baby  energy and provide good
  6. 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