Have you ever heard of metformin? Used to treat type 2 diabetes, this is an oral diabetes medication that aims to control blood sugar levels. The medication also helps the body respond better to insulin. For those struggling with type 2 diabetes, it is an ideal management tool. However, when it comes to the world of gestational diabetes, this could be a whole different story.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Here the role of medicating becomes complicated because now there is a fetus involved. There is an understandable concern that there are potential negative side effects of taking metformin for both mother and baby.
Do the benefits of metformin in pregnancy outweigh the risks?
It turns out, this may be the case. Researchers in Greece have recently expressed the efficacy of metformin in treating gestational diabetes. One may be surprised to learn that this medication can be used in a variety of other situations as well. For example, supplementing metformin to women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) while pregnant has been shown to reduce rates of early pregnancy loss, preterm labor, and provide protection against fetal growth restriction.
For women with gestational diabetes, using metformin can not only be more effective than insulin but also helps in areas such as maternal weight gain and neonatal outcomes. In terms of risks, there have been no observable malformations of embryos, intrauterine deaths, or developmental delays in babies born to mothers on metformin.
More often than not, prescribing medications to pregnant women can be hard because of the effects they may have on the growing fetus. That being said, these findings should come as a reassurance to mothers-to-be with gestational diabetes. However, when it comes to other disorders, this is not always the case. Learn more about how to proceed with medication routines once you become pregnant.
The concern with taking medications does not end when the baby is born and pregnancy is complete. For mothers planning on breastfeeding, the struggle continues. There is a very real concern as to how these medications transfer into breast milk and later the child upon frequent consumption. This complete list of medications that should be avoided during the breastfeeding period may be a helpful starting point.