Each year, gestational diabetes affects 2% to 10% of pregnancies in the United States. Inevitably, the female body undergoes several common alterations while pregnant. Having increased levels of blood sugar is one of them. For some, it gets to an all-time high that needs to be carefully regulated and may result in prescribed medications. Whether you’re diagnosed or not, educating yourself is crucial when maintaining a healthy balance for you and your developing child. Read below for some tips on keeping you and your baby safe during pregnancy with gestational diabetes.
Learn About Diabetes
Knowledge speaks for itself, and the more you learn about diabetes, the better you can cultivate a healthy pregnancy. For starters, you must research, learn, and listen carefully to your doctor on how to manage it. When pregnant, there’s an immediate need to intake extra food, resulting in high blood sugar levels in your bloodstream. Gestational diabetes develops when your body isn’t producing enough insulin to transfer the sugar properly. When this occurs, there are necessary lifestyle changes you must make to ensure you defer the negative consequences, which include delivering a baby over ten pounds, risk of adopting high blood pressure, a preterm birth, or having a c-section. There are also long-term side effects, such as developing type 2 diabetes later on in life.
Nutritional Diet for You and Baby
One of the primary ways to manage gestational diabetes is through diet. Ultimately, you cannot control why your body can’t produce enough insulin. However, you can follow dietary recommendations to regulate what you eat to maintain normal blood sugar levels. First, focus on carbohydrates because they are essential for you during pregnancy, as well as your child’s development. Second, when you digest carbohydrates, they immediately turn into sugar. From this, you must watch how much you consume for the risk of spiked levels. You want to maintain a diet across all of the core food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. This way, you give yourself a variety of vitamins and nutrients. There are carbohydrates in every food group, so to manage them, you want to separate the foods with carbs throughout your day. Have a balance of carbs on your plate, such as a salad with fruit and assorted nuts.
Another way you can stay in control of your body while undergoing gestational diabetes is through exercising. Along with intaking the right foods, regular exercise is another way to maintain a neutral blood sugar level. Whether you have diabetes or not, exercising and physical activity use the sugar in your bloodstream. When you have spiked levels, this is an easy and quick way to decrease levels. For pregnant women, you shouldn’t do any high impact exercises. Some ideas include going for a walk, doing yoga, or even seeking online pregnancy fitness programs. If you’re looking for pregnancy-safe exercises that you can do postpartum, consider utilizing an online fitness resource.
Measure Your Blood Sugar
If you maintain a healthy lifestyle by controlling your blood sugar levels, you and your child will experience a normal pregnancy. You should carefully monitor your blood sugar levels to review with your health care professional regularly. When monitoring your levels daily, you can quickly identify highs and lows. It can also be beneficial to keep a food journal, too. If there is a spike, you can refer to your journal to identify what foods you were eating during the increased blood sugar levels. Measuring your blood sugar will be your ultimate key to a successful pregnancy. This will ensure that you and your developing baby stay healthy and don’t experience any of the underlying side effects.
Having a diagnosis of gestational diabetes is something most cannot control. However, with the right steps, it is manageable. If you are someone who has been diagnosed or want to be cautious, consider these precautions. It all starts with a healthy and balanced diet with constant physical activity. Don’t let those blood sugar levels get too high, and you and your new baby will be healthy and happy in the end.