Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baby Fat: Sinai Hospital Helps Women with Gestational Diabetes

The following is an excerpt from MdMD for Life 2011, available now.

As a nurse, Lakecia Lewis knew what she needed to do to have a healthy pregnancy, including eating better. But when she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in 2006, Lewis kicked into high gear, becoming more motivated to follow a healthy meal plan and to keep her weight gain minimal.

“I realized it wasn’t just about me now that I was pregnant,” Lewis says. “The gestational diabetes was going to affect the baby, and I wanted both of us to be healthy.”

Lewis received the support she needed through Sinai Hospital’s Diabetes and Pregnancy Education and Management Program. Anna Osztreicher, a certified nurse practitioner and diabetes educator and program manager, meets with each patient to formulate an individualized plan.

“I have a nonjudgmental attitude,” Osztreicher says of the “intimate relationship” she develops with her patients. “I ask about their fears and keep everything in a realistic perspective. These women are obviously very concerned about their baby’s well-being.”

Gestational diabetes occurs as a result of a resistance to insulin during pregnancy. It is estimated that between 6 to 8 percent of all pregnancies involve gestational diabetes, says David Schwartz, M.D., chief of the Department of Obstetrics-Gynecology at Sinai Hospital. Risk factors include being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, or being considered pre-diabetic.

The impact of gestational diabetes on the health of mother and baby should not be minimized, Schwartz says.

“Gestational diabetes can cause the baby to get too big, which can obstruct labor or result in other complications during delivery,” he says. “There’s also a concern about stillbirth. That’s why we help these women get their blood sugar level under control.”

The number of cases are increasing, as Schwartz explains below:

To read more, click here.
-Elizabeth Leis-Newman

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