New mom Raenalle Daite got a wake up call at her first pre-natal screening when doctors told her she had type 2 Diabetes. "I wouldn't have known. It may have affected him" says Daite.
According to Dr. Keith Ogasawara, the author of a new study on gestational diabetes, "For pregnant women, the babies or fetus is very sensitive to high blood sugars. If it's early in the pregnancy, it can actually form some birth defects."
Dr. Ogasawara at Moanalua Medical Center controlled Daite's Diabetes with insulin. She delivered a healthy baby boy in May.
Ogasawara's study, with a Kaiser Permanente colleague in Portland, touts the benefits of testing high risk women in the first trimester. "In our group which was Hawaiian, Part Hawaiian, Asian, Pacific Islander, that group did have much higher incidence of diabetes so for us in Hawaii, it is a big problem" explains Ogasawara.
Early detection can decrease risk of complications such as high birth weight and c-sections, with diet and exercise changes and insulin, if necessary.
"When I test my blood, it's like the lottery. Please don't go high. Oh thank you" says Daite.
There's a theory for children of diabetic mothers who don't control their blood sugars. According to Ogasawara, "The babies actually learn to like to be diabetic. They later become obese children and obese adults with early onset Diabetes."
Daite's family motivates her to manage Diabetes through diet and exercise. "I don't want to be deteriorating for them."