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|March of Dimes presents grant to combat gestational diabetes|
The March of Dimes on Tuesday presented St. Francis Medical Center with $20,000 to help educate physicians and the public about the dangers of gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar abnormality affecting an increasing number of pregnancies.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 200,000 pregnant women get gestational diabetes every year.
It can be controlled by following a treatment that includes the mother checking her blood-sugar level, a diet recommended by a nutritionist, regular physical activity and medication if necessary.
Untreated, gestational diabetes can increase the risk for large infants requiring a C-section delivery, unstable blood sugar in the infant after delivery and respiratory difficulty in newborns.
Additionally, women with gestational diabetes are at a significantly increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Tim Cotita, manager of the Diabetes and Nutrition Center located at the Community Health Center on Oliver Road, said the number of women experiencing gestational diabetes in the area is rising.
"We want to create awareness and let everyone know it is a problem, and there are treatment options," Cotita said. "If left untreated, the baby at birth could have trouble regulating his or her blood-sugar."
Yvonne Boudreaux, St. Francis Medical Center's vice president of Mission Integration, applied for the grant last year. She and interim CEO Sister Kathleen Cain were on hand to accept the check from Sharon Davis of the March of Dimes.
For more information about diabetes, visit the American Diabetes Association Web site at www.diabetes.org.