chapter  20
13 Pages

Gestational Diabetes

Focus on Pregestational, Gestational, and Postnatal Weight Management
WithJacques E. Samson

The prevalence of obesity is increasing worldwide and is associated with increased rates of gestational diabetes. This greatly impacts the developing fetus and has the potential for detrimental influences not only in utero, but also long-term, throughout the offspring’s lifespan. Various metabolic changes occur in pregnancy, which leads to hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, and a relative fasting hypoglycemia. The placenta is a complex endocrine organ that is capable of synthesizing various hormones, growth factors, and cytokines whose function is to provide the necessary nutrients to the developing and growing fetus.