I found this article this morning, and I feel torn as to how to interpret the findings. Researchers have proposed that current thresholds for diagnosing a pregnant woman with Gestational Diabetes are too lax. They suggest lowering
the upper limits of normal glucose values based on data that suggests a doubling of risk for either mother or baby at levels above this proposed "new" range.
Here is the article: http://wellness.blogs.time.com/2010/02/26/assessing-gestational-dia...
Now, I am a fervent advocate for a healthy diet and regular exercise during pregnancy--many studies have shown that this reduces risk of complications in labor and delivery, even in women without GD. I hope that doctors and midwives would use this data to be more proactive
in educating and supporting their pregnant patients to eat and move mindfully.
I suppose my primary concern is that these new guidelines could swell the percentage of pregnant patients with GD from 5-8% to over 16%. This is a HUGE increase, and may needlessly cause OBs to label these women as "high-risk" and increase their likelihood of an interventionalized birth. (Because, let's face it: for doctors to spend the additional time necessary to properly instruct on diet and exercise, they would have to see fewer patients, or work longer hours, or pay for a dietitian full-time on staff. I'm sure you can guess that none of these options would provide a "quick fix". But a scheduled c-section sure would!)
On the other side of the coin, perhaps we should be more concerned that so many American women are so improperly nourished that they fall into this category in the first place. I mean, those are some sobering statistics--a doubling of risk for preeclampsia, for example, is profound, in my opinion. But should we change the threshold? Will this cause normal, physiologic birth to be even harder for women to achieve?
What are your thoughts?