My Surrogate Has Gestational Diabetes, What Does That Mean?

We often hear from Intended Parents that they are worried about their Surrogate having gestational diabetes. That’s why we chose to answer some of our most frequently asked questions about gestational diabetes and what it means if your Surrogate has it.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that is diagnosed during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is similar to other types of diabetes as it affects how your cells use sugar. This type of diabetes can result in high blood sugar, which can affect the pregnancy and the health of the baby. Gestational diabetes can be controlled by changing food, adding exercise and in some cases, taking medication. This type of diabetes typically resolves after the woman has delivered the baby but puts the individual at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the future. 

How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect a Surrogate?

Gestational diabetes affects a Surrogate the same way that it would affect any other woman who is pregnant. This type of diabetes can increase the risk of:

  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia
  • Having a surgical delivery
  • Future diabetes

These issues can affect both the Surrogate and the baby, so it is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid gestational diabetes.

How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect The Baby?

Gestational diabetes can result in high blood sugar levels, which can negatively impact the baby. It can affect the baby in several different ways, including:

Excessive Birth Weight

Gestational diabetes can increase blood sugar levels, which may result in the baby weighing nine pounds or more. Babies that are this large are more likely to be injured or stuck during birth or require a C-section birth.

Early (Preterm) Birth

The high blood sugar levels caused by gestational diabetes can result in early labor/delivery. Sometimes doctors even recommend early delivery because of the large size of the baby.

Breathing Difficulties

As a result of gestational diabetes, some babies are born with respiratory distress syndrome. This condition makes it very difficult for the baby to breathe.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar, also referred to as hypoglycemia, is another complication a baby may face shortly after birth, when their mother has gestational diabetes. 

Obesity & Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Gestational diabetes can result in the baby having a higher risk of being obese or suffering from type 2 diabetes when they get older.

What are the Risk Factors For Gestational Diabetes?

There are several risk factors that put a woman at greater risk of developing gestational diabetes. Some of these include:

  • Overweight/obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Previous gestational diabetes/prediabetes
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • An immediate family member with diabetes
  • Previous delivery of a baby that was more than 9 pounds

Several of these risk factors can and should be eliminated by making lifestyle changes prior to pregnancy. 

How Does Simple Surrogacy Approach Gestational Diabetes?

At Simple Surrogacy, we have a long list of requirements that a Surrogate must meet before they can register with us. Some of our health-specific qualifications to become a Surrogate include:

  • Be between the ages of 21-40 (Traditional Surrogates must be under 35)
  • Have given birth to a child of your own
  • Have had uncomplicated pregnancies and deliveries
  • Be height-weight proportionate (BMI must be under 33)
  • Have experienced a full-term pregnancy and delivery
  • Be willing to take medications via injection
  • Not smoke or take illegal drugs, or be exposed to second-hand smoke
  • Be willing to refrain from alcohol throughout the medical process and pregnancy
  • Not have any sexually transmitted diseases that would subject you or the child you are carrying to physical harm
  • Not have any psychiatric illness or take medications for depression or anxiety
  • Be able to provide contact information for past OBs or family doctors so we are able to obtain medical records
  • Sign necessary forms to allow us access to Medical records from previous pregnancies, and surrogacy journey
  • Not have traveled to a Zika Infected country for the previous 6 months

Our detailed list of qualifications for our Surrogates helps prevent issues such as gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

How to Avoid Gestational Diabetes?

Wondering how you or your Surrogate can avoid developing gestational diabetes? Although there are no guarantees, the more healthy habits that an individual incorporates into their life before pregnancy, the better! Here are some suggestions on how to become a healthier person:

Healthy Foods

The first step to help avoid developing gestational diabetes is to eat healthy foods. The best way to do this is to avoid “fast-food” and other processed foods. Instead, choose foods that are high in fiber, low in fat, and low in calories. Some examples include fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains. The easiest way to do this is to choose foods that you can understand every item on their ingredients list! We also suggest that you begin watching your portion sizes and the time of day that you are eating.

Exercise

Another great way to prevent developing gestational diabetes is to exercise and keep active. This can be as simple as taking a walk, joining a fitness class, or doing yoga in the house. These habits will not only benefit the baby, but they will also benefit your overall fitness level, how you feel, and how you live your life!

Weight

The weight that you are at when you become pregnant is also a big factor in whether or not you are at risk of developing gestational diabetes. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, it is important to lose excess weight if you have any. This can be done by combining healthy food and exercise as mentioned above. At Simple Surrogacy, our Surrogates must be within a specific BMI range to join us in order to avoid the risk of gestational diabetes.

The Simple Surrogacy Difference

When you choose to work with Simple Surrogacy, you’re choosing to work with an experienced team who has your best interests at heart. All of our Surrogates are rigorously vetted to help ensure a smooth, simple, and healthy pregnancy. If you have any questions about our Surrogates, our processes, or gestational diabetes, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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