How To Manage Gestational Diabetes With A Healthy Diet
Consider a gestational diabetes diet plan your secret weapon to help prevent pregnancy and delivery complications. Even if you need diabetes medication, Asterino-McGeean says its still vital to follow a gestational diabetes diet.
Help keep blood sugar levels in check with a well-balanced diet. It should include lean sources of protein, plenty of non-starchy vegetables and correctly portioned complex carbohydrates, she says.
Bissell notes that working with a dietitian can take the guesswork out of eating with gestational diabetes. Your dietitian can help you set up balanced meals with the right amount of carbs to keep your blood sugars within the range your doctor recommends.
What To Expect From Gestational Diabetes Testing
Brian Levine, MD, MS, is board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology as well as in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
If you are pregnant, your obstetrician has probably told you that you will need gestational diabetes testing. Don’t worrygestational diabetes testing is an important part of routine prenatal care. Most women are tested during weeks 24 through 28 of pregnancy. If you have any risk factors for diabetes, your doctor may consider testing your blood sugar as early as your first prenatal visit.
Do Not Skip Breakfast:
It is always said that opting for a healthy breakfast is the way to go. Never skip your breakfast, especially when you are pregnant.
If you happen to do so, it will make you hungrier. You will indeed have a more significant chunk of the meal. The next time you eat. This, in turn, leads to the onset of diabetes or even gestational diabetes.
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Other Ways To Keep You And Your Baby Healthy With Gestational Diabetes
Asterino-McGeean recommends keeping your doctor in the know as your pregnancy progresses. Continue with your scheduled appointments. Since your pregnancy is considered high risk if you have gestational diabetes, your obstetrician may also have you see a high-risk specialist for the remainder of your pregnancy, she says.
Managing gestational diabetes is ultimately a team sport and you are the quarterback. Self-monitoring blood glucose levels at home is important for a healthy pregnancy and baby, adds Asterino-McGeean.
Heres how to do it:
- Monitor your sugar four times a day. After fasting and one to two hours after each meal.
- Keep a written log of your blood sugar levels. Send it to your doctor every one to two weeks or as they recommend.
The most important thing is preventing high blood sugar levels to keep you and your baby safe, says Asterino-McGeean.
Will I Have Diabetes After I Am Pregnant
No. Because it occurs only during pregnancy, gestational diabetes is not the same as pre-existing type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and the large majority of women with gestational diabetes will have normal blood sugars immediately upon delivery. However, women with gestational diabetes are at risk for developing diabetes over their lifetime and it is very important they receive ongoing diabetes screenings and preventive care. No matter what type of abnormal blood sugar you have in pregnancy, it is very important that you receive proper follow up after you deliver. Your pregnancy care team will work with you and your primary care provider to help make sure you receive the care you need.
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Will Gestational Diabetes Affect My Baby
Your baby will probably be healthy, if you and your doctor manage your blood sugar while you have gestational diabetes.
Right after you give birth, doctors will check your newborn’s blood sugar level. If itâs low, they may need to get glucose through an IV until it comes back up to normal.
Gestational diabetes raises the chance that you will have a baby who is larger than normal. It’s also linked to jaundice, in which the skin looks yellowish. Jaundice generally fades quickly with treatment.
Although your child will be more likely than other kids to get type 2 diabetes later on, a healthy lifestyle can cut that risk.
Tips For Women With Gestational Diabetes
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Will I Get Type 2 Diabetes
Because you had gestational diabetes, you have a greater chance of having type 2 diabetes. But it wonât definitely happen, and you can take action to prevent that.
Your blood sugar levels will likely return to normal about 6 weeks after childbirth. If it does, you should get follow-up tests every 3 years.
To lower your risk:
- Try to keep your weight in a healthy range. Not sure what that is? Ask your doctor.
- Eat a good diet that includes lots of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean protein.
- Make exercise a habit.
If you plan to have another baby, keep in mind that you are more likely to get gestational diabetes again. Ask your doctor if there are any lifestyle changes that would help you avoid that.
Will Gestational Diabetes Go Away
Most likely, after you deliver your baby, gestational diabetes should go away. About six weeks after delivery, your doctor will check your blood glucose level to see if its in the normal range again.
However, because you had gestational diabetes, youre at a higher risk for having it again in another pregnancy. Youre also at a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes. To learn how to prevent type 2 diabetes, read our article on prevention.
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Check These Symptoms For Potential Risks Of Gestational Diabetes:
Women with gestational diabetes have following risk factors.
Risk Factors For Gestational Diabetes
- Sugar in your urine.
- Given birth to a large baby earlier
- Diabetes is generic or not.
- Giving birth to a stillborn baby previously.
- Gestational diabetes during earlier pregnancy.
- A member of a high risk ethnic group.
- Impaired fasting glucose.
- Exercise after getting instruction from your doctor.
- If necessary, then take insulin.
- Measure urine for ketones which indicates your diabetes is not under control.
Complications Of Gestational Diabetes:
Treatment Of Gestational Diabetes
In the early stage of pregnancy the gestational diabetes may cause high risk of miscarriage and birth defect affecting major organs like heart and brain. During pregnancy it also affects the developing fetus. The gestational diabetes during the second and third trimester may lead to excess growth and over nutrition of baby. During delivery and labor, a large baby causes high risk.
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Favorite Gestational Diabetes Support Group
What to Expect is a nationally leading and trusted source on all things pregnancy and parenting, and a partner site of Everyday Health. On this message board, connect with other women who are living with gestational diabetes and share your diet plans and other tips for staying healthy during pregnancy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes
Generally, you wont experience any noticeable symptoms of gestational diabetes. Some women may experience mild symptoms such as:
- increased weight gain
However, gestational diabetes can increase your risk of other conditions.
One of the most serious is preeclampsia, which causes high blood pressure and can be fatal if not treated quickly.
Gestational diabetes is also associated with macrosomia, a condition in which your baby grows too big. Macrosomia is associated with a higher risk for an emergency cesarean delivery.
Gestational diabetes can also lead to your baby having low blood glucose at birth. In cases of poorly controlled gestational diabetes, your baby is at increased risk for stillbirth.
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Prognosis Of Gestational Diabetes
However, women who have had gestational diabetes are at an increased risk of getting it again during future pregnancies and are also at an increased risk of type 2 diabetes later in life. For this reason, its important for women who have had gestational diabetes to have their blood glucose levels regularly checked even after pregnancy.
What You Can Do To Prevent Gestational Diabetes
If your only risk factors for gestational diabetes are a family history of the disease and/or advanced maternal age, there may be nothing more you can do to prevent your chances of developing the condition.
But if you’re overweight, don’t eat a well-balanced diet or don’t routinely exercise, adopting a few healthy habits can make a big difference.
The following steps can have a big impact on reducing your risk of developing both gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes, both before you conceive and during your pregnancy:
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Ayurvedas Relation With Gestational Diabetes
Ayurveda calls Diabetes as Madhumeha kshaudrameha. Madhumeha is Excessive urination with honey-like sweet taste.
There is no detailed description or mention of gestational in the Ayurvedic texts. There is a term called Garbha Vriddhi, which means it is a complication of this disease.
With Garbha Vriddhi increases the abdomen size with enhanced perspiration. It makes normal labour a problematic option, especially with high Blood Glucose Levels.
Ayurvedic Medicines for diabetes aids in better management of gestational. Additionally, many simple steps can help you get rid of gestational diabetes.
Your Diabetes Treatment In Pregnancy
Your doctors may recommend changing your treatment regime during pregnancy.
If you usually take tablets to control your diabetes, you’ll normally be advised to switch to insulin injections, either with or without a medicine called metformin.
If you already use insulin injections to control your diabetes, you may need to switch to a different type of insulin.
If you take medicines for conditions related to your diabetes, such as high blood pressure, these may have to be changed.
It’s very important to attend any appointments made for you so that your care team can monitor your condition and react to any changes that could affect your or your baby’s health.
You will need to monitor your blood glucose levels more frequently during pregnancy, especially since nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can affect them. Your GP or midwife will be able to advise you on this.
Keeping your blood glucose levels low may mean you have more low-blood-sugar attacks . These are harmless for your baby, but you and your partner need to know how to cope with them. Talk to your doctor or diabetes specialist.
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How Can I Prevent Gestational Diabetes
There are no guarantees when it comes to prevention, but the more healthy habits you can adopt before pregnancy, the better. If youve had gestational diabetes, these healthy choices may also reduce your risk of having it again in future pregnancies or developing type 2 diabetes in the future.
- Eat healthy foods Choose foods high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without compromising taste or nutrition. Watch portion sizes.
- Keep active exercising before and during pregnancy can help protect you from developing gestational diabetes. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride your bike. Swim laps. Short bursts of activity such as parking further away from the store when you run errands or taking a short walk break all add up too.
- Start pregnancy at a healthy weight if youre planning to get pregnant, losing extra weight beforehand may help you have a healthier pregnancy. Focus on making lasting changes to your eating habits that can help you through pregnancy, such as eating more vegetables and fruits.
- Dont gain more weight than recommended gaining some weight during pregnancy is normal and healthy. But gaining too much weight too quickly can up your risk of gestational diabetes. Ask your doctor what a reasonable amount of weight gain is for you.
Urgent Advice: Contact Your Diabetes Team Straight Away If:
- you find out you’re pregnant
You’ll need to make an urgent appointment.
Keeping your blood glucose levels stable can be more difficult in early pregnancy as your hormones change, especially if you have morning sickness. Low blood sugars can happen more easily. It is important to check your blood glucose often. Carry hypo treatment with you in case your blood glucose goes too low.
You’ll have extra appointments with your maternity and diabetes teams when you’re pregnant. This usually means check-ups every 2 weeks, as well as extra tests and scans.
You can have a normal birth, but it’s recommended you have your baby in hospital. You might be advised to have your labour started early .
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Will I Have A Healthy Pregnancy And Baby
Most women with polyhydramnios will not have any significant problems during their pregnancy and will have a healthy baby.
But there is a slightly increased risk of pregnancy and birth complications, such as:
- giving birth prematurely
- your waters breaking early
- a problem with the position of the umbilical cord
- heavy bleeding after your baby is born because your womb has stretched
- your baby having a health condition
You’ll need extra check-ups to look for these problems. You’ll usually be advised to give birth in hospital.
Risks Of Developing Type 2 Diabetes
While maternal blood glucose levels usually return to normal after birth, there is an increased risk of the woman developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The baby may also be at risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Depending on your risk factors, you will also need to be tested for type 2 diabetes again every one to three years. Ask your doctor for more information. You can find more information about reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes here.
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Signs Of Gestational Diabetes
You may have been shocked to find out that you have gestational diabetes many women have no noticeable symptoms. As some of the signs of diabetes are like symptoms experienced in pregnancy anyway – like feeling more tired or going to the toilet more – most cases are diagnosed during screening for gestational diabetes. This is called an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, also known as an OGTT.The OGTT is done when youre between 24-28 weeks pregnant. If youve had gestational diabetes before, youll be offered the OGTT or self monitoring of your blood sugar levels at home early in your pregnancy. Youll be shown how to do this and given a blood monitoring kit.
How Common Is Gestational Diabetes Today
Lifestyle changes, as well as alterations in the environment, are causing lots of changes to our bodies. In this context, It is noted that Gestational diabetes is becoming common in pregnant women. This is a problem that can cause many complications for the pregnant woman and her unborn baby. At the same time, it can be controllable if you pay proper care and attention
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What Is The Treatment For Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
Specific treatment for gestational diabetes will be determined by your doctor based on:
Your age, overall health, and medical history
Extent of the disease
Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the disease
Your opinion or preference
Treatment for gestational diabetes focuses on keeping blood glucose levels in the normal range. Treatment may include:
What Are The Complications Of Gestational Diabetes
If your blood sugar levels remain high during your pregnancy, this may lead to pregnancy problems such as a large baby, miscarriage or stillbirth. Having a large baby can lead to complications and injury during the birth, and increase the chances of having intervention in labour such as a caesarean birth. But the baby will not be born with diabetes.
If you have gestational diabetes, you are at higher risk of developing high blood pressure while you are pregnant and a 50% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Your baby is also at greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life.
To reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes:
- keep to a healthy weight
- eat a healthy diet
- be physically active
- check your blood glucose levels
You can also call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 to speak to a maternal child health nurse for advice and support.
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