Most pregnant women with an average risk of gestational diabetes will be tested when they are between 24 to 28 weeks pregnant. Generally speaking, gestational diabetes occurs in approximately 5% of all pregnancies.
Several complications arise for both the baby and the mother if gestational diabetes is left uncontrolled, including:
- Large birth weight and difficult delivery
- Preeclampsia (high blood pressure)
- The chance of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the information regarding treatment can be overwhelming.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to minimize the complications associated with gestational diabetes. Some of them are even FUN!…
Maximize Your Food Choices
The diet for a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes doesn’t restrict your food, but only the amount of carbohydrates you can have throughout the day.
That means you can choose to have a brownie or ice cream, but you need to know the carbohydrate count of each item.
For example, a 2-inch by 2-inch square brownie (without icing) is about a 1-carb serving. If you are on a diet which allows for 3 carbohydrate servings in a meal, the brownie would count as one, as would one slice of bread or a half-cup of cooked rice.
When deciding on what to eat, you would be best served by finding food choices that will meet your dietary requirements and nutritional needs, as well as satisfy your hunger.
Keep A Food Journal
One way that you can help with the treatment of your gestational diabetes is to keep a food journal with your charts of blood sugar readings.
You should track everything eaten for each of your meals (including snacks) in order to see how well you are keeping to your prescribed diet.
Along with this, you should write down your blood sugar readings after each meal. This will help you chart which foods create a blood sugar spike so you can modify your diet accordingly.
MyFitnessPal is a great (fun!) way to track what you eat online, or on your phone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry). You can use this or any similar app instead of writing your food journal in a notebook.
Walk It Off
Having gestational diabetes can be stressful when you take into account the dietary changes and prescribed medications that are required.
Exercise is the key not only in helping to regulate your gestational diabetes, but also in helping to alleviate stress — which may become more difficult as your pregnancy comes to term.
An exercise program which keeps the doctor’s guidelines in mind will benefit both you and baby!
Build Your Support System
You may feel like you live in a vacuum when you receive the diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Your friends and family may have very little understanding of what you’re going through. The amount of support you receive can play a big role in how you deal with and ultimately overcome obstacles related to your gestational diabetes.
In order to keep up with the treatments prescribed, you should bring a close family member or friend to your doctor’s appointments and meetings with the dietitian.
You can also cook carbohydrate-friendly meals for your entire family to show how to be healthy and enjoy good food at the same time.
Finally, allow your family to experiment with the glucometer, taking their blood sugar readings and comparing them with yours.
A diagnosis of gestational diabetes does not have to cast a shadow over your pregnancy.
With these simple management tips, you can assist your doctor with controlling your blood sugar levels while enjoying all of the experiences of a healthy pregnancy!
Best Resources About Gestational Diabetes
In addition to the links provided in the article above, these are the best resources if you want more information about gestational diabetes:
- Exhausted & Tired Can Be A Symptom Of Gestational Diabetes
- Gestational Diabetes: After The Baby Is Born
- Tips For Managing Your Gestational Diabetes
- What If Your Gestational Diabetes Screening Results Are High?
- 6 Sweet Snacks Safe For Gestational Diabetes
- How To Get Through Gestational Diabetes With Ease
- Welcome To The World Of Diabetic Testing & Healthy Eating
- Gestational Diabetes 101: Some Of The Best Videos On The Topic
- How To Treat Gestational Diabetes
I enjoy writing about a variety of different topics, including Health & Fitness and Pregnancy.