Gestational diabetes is a pregnancy-related condition that affects how your cells use sugar (glucose). Gestational diabetes causes high blood sugar that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. Fortunately, this is a common complication that can be managed by eating healthy foods, exercising and in some cases, taking medication. Here’s what you need to know about controlling your blood sugar during pregnancy.
Researchers do not know why some people develop diabetes and some do not. During pregnancy, the placenta produces high levels of various other hormones. Almost all of them impair the action of insulin in your cells, raising your blood sugar. Some elevation of blood sugar after meals is completely normal during pregnancy. The farther along your pregnancy is, the more insulin-blocking hormones you produce.
Usually gestational diabetes doesn’t cause noticeable signs or symptoms. However, you can start discussing gestational diabetes with your doctor early in your pregnancy. Your physician will evaluate your risk facts to determine whether you should be screened. If you are over 25, have a family history of diabetes, are non-white, or are significantly overweight, you have a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. If you do develop gestational diabetes, you may need more-frequent checkups. Extra visits to the doctor are most likely to happen during the last trimester of pregnancy, when your doctor will monitor your blood sugar level and your baby’s health.
Various complications can arise from gestational diabetes, including a greater chance that you will need a C-section. Because of the extra glucose, your baby may be at risk of greater birth weight, respiratory distress, low blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes later in life. It may also create a higher risk that you will develop type 2 diabetes later as well. By following your doctor’s advice and watching what you eat, you will strongly minimize the probability of complications or permanent problems.
When your physician recommends a diabetes dictated diet, it means you will focus more on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fat and calories. You will limit sweets and highly refined carbohydrates.
Exercise is beneficial because it lowers your blood sugar. It also increases your sensitivity to insulin, meaning your body will ask for less insulin in order to transport sugar.
When diet and exercise don’t control your blood sugar, you might need medication. Between 10 and 20 percent of women require some medication to manage gestational diabetes. This may require oral blood sugar medication and in some cases, insulin injections.
Your doctor may refer you to additional health professionals who specialize in diabetes, such as an endocrinologist, a registered dietitian or a diabetes educator. They can help you learn to manage your blood sugar level during your pregnancy.
Your blood sugar will usually return to normal after you give birth. To make sure your blood sugar level has returned to normal, your health care providers will check your blood sugar right after delivery and again in six weeks. If you have had gestational diabetes, it is recommended that you have your blood sugar level tested regularly to make sure you haven’t developed type 2 diabetes.
More inMom Training
Marriage Communication After Baby: 4 Tips for Discussing Household Chores
One of the happiest moments of your life is the day you bring your first (or second, or third) baby home...April 3, 2017
How to Baby-Proof Your Home
If you have an infant, it may seem too soon to start baby-proofing your home, since your child is still learning...April 2, 2017
Diapers and Their Alternatives: Finding the Best Choice for You
Statistics claim that you will change about 7,000 diapers during the first three years of your child’s life. Disposable diapers were...April 1, 2017
How to safely introduce your toddler to a swimming pool
It can be an anxious task with the mere thought on how to safely introduce your baby/toddler to a swimming pool....March 31, 2017
What to Put on Your Baby Shower Registry
It is a challenge to create a baby shower registry if you are a first time mom. People have their own...March 28, 2017
Our 4 Best Tips for Effectively Disciplining Toddlers
For many moms, having to discipline toddlers is one of the most difficult and hair-raising experiences they will ever have. Toddlers...March 27, 2017
7 Long-Term Relationship Tips You Haven’t Heard Before
Being in a long-term relationship is a joy, but in some cases can feel like a chore. Couples tend to get...March 27, 2017
6 Discussions You Must Have With Your Partner Before Having a Child
So you got married and are in a stable relationship, and now you’re ready to have a child. What could go...March 26, 2017
5 Ways to Use Baby Talk to Build Language Skills
The phrase “baby talk” has negative connotations, suggesting that when we engage with babies who have not yet learned to talk,...March 25, 2017