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Moms In Motion: Pregnancy and Diabetes

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Even though she had no warning, and no family history of it, Lorenda Donaugh was diagnosed with diabetes just before her baby was born. Suddenly, in addition to all the other stress that came with her first with pregnancy, Lorenda also had to watch everything she ate and keep a close eye on her blood sugar.

"It is something hard, it's emotionally hard, every time you prick your finger and your number is a little high you feel bad as a mom because you want that number to be good," said Lorenda.

If it's not, it can spell trouble. Moms who develop gestational diabetes tend to have larger babies and more complicated deliveries, and the newborns are at risk for problems too.

"Including long term complications such as childhood obesity themselves, and a risk for Type 2 Diabetes throughout their lifetime," said Dr. Mark Landon, with Ohio State University Medical Center.

Dr. Landon wanted to see if he could change that. In a study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Landon shows that treating even mild cases of gestational diabetes can have remarkable results. One group of women cut in half the number of babies who were born too large, reduced the amount of fat in each baby, and cut down on the need for C-sections - all by making one simple change.

"These women who were treated, about 90 some-odd percent were treated with diet therapy alone," said Dr. Landon. "Only about 7 percent received insulin. So again, these were the mildest of gestational diabetics."

Lorenda's diabetes may turn out to be just temporary - and tests on her daughter were negative. Thanks to a restricted diet in the last few weeks of her pregnancy, both can look forward to years of good health.

Right now, gestational diabetes affects about 4 percent of all pregnant women but experts said that number could nearly triple in the coming years

If you'd like more information go to the Ohio State University Medical Center website http://medicalcenter.osu.edu and click on "News & media room."

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