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Phone: 281-737-2512

Understanding Gestational Diabetes Important for a Healthy Pregnancy

Willowbrook, TX - 1/8/2014

A woman’s body goes through tremendous physical changes during pregnancy. There’s the obvious weight gain, morning sickness and lower back pain, as well as the occasionally less noticeable joint instability, posture changes and fatigue. Some women also may develop a condition called gestational diabetes in the second trimester that could lead to complications if not diagnosed and treated properly.

“Women are routinely screened for gestational diabetes as part of their prenatal care so the condition can be successfully managed to ensure a healthy pregnancy,” said Jonathan Russell, M.D., obstetrics/gynecology (OB/Gyn) on the medical staff at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. “It’s important for a woman with gestational diabetes to follow a treatment plan that may include controlling blood sugar levels, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and taking prescribed medications. Appropriately managing the condition can prevent complications, such as high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and, in extreme cases, kidney failure.”

Michelle Barcio, M.D. and Jonathan Russell, M.D. are board certified OB/Gyns with Methodist Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates.

Gestational diabetes is more likely to develop in women who are overweight or have a body mass index higher than 30, have a history of polycystic ovary syndrome or gestational diabetes, are over 25 years old, had a baby weighing more than nine pounds, or have a personal or family history of type 2 diabetes. The condition usually disappears after pregnancy, but may increase the mother’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.

“Gestational diabetes usually doesn’t cause symptoms, so women may not know they have the condition. It also won’t cause birth defects since it develops after 20 weeks of gestation when the baby’s body is already formed,” said Michelle Barcio, M.D., OB/Gyn on the medical staff at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. “But it can cause increased birth weight that may lead to a Cesarean section, jaundice, preterm delivery or respiratory distress syndrome. These babies also have a higher chance of being obese or developing type 2 diabetes when they get older, so their growth development should be watched closely by a pediatrician.”

Dr. Barcio and Dr. Russell are with Methodist Obstetrics and Gynecology Associates, which is located at 10130 Louetta Road, Suite G, and care for patients at the Birthing Center at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. The Birthing Center is home to a full-service childbirth facility where approximately 3,300 babies are born each year. Antepartum, labor, delivery, private birthing suites and mother baby suites, well-baby nursery, and neonatal intensive care services are available at the Birthing Center at Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital. For more information about Dr. Barcio and Dr. Russell, or to make an appointment, call 832.698.5500 or visit houstonmethodist.org/obgyn.


About Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital

Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, is a not-for-profit, faith-based hospital, which is part of Houston Methodist. The facility opened on December 18, 2000. The campus has expanded in Northwest Houston to serve the comprehensive health care needs of the community.

Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has been named a Magnet recognized health care facility by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Magnet Recognition Program®.

Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has received its chest pain and stroke accreditations, performs complex surgeries such as neurosurgery and open heart, and focuses on women and children in its new Women’s & Children’s Pavilion. Utilizing the latest research and state-of-the-art technology, Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine has become the leader in orthopedic care in Northwest Houston. For more information on the comprehensive services available on the Houston Methodist Willowbrook campus, please visit houstonmethodist.org/willowbrook.

To find a physician, call 281-737-2500.