Managing Gestational Diabetes

Health & Medical Blog

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that develops during gestation (pregnancy). Like other forms of diabetes it affects the way the cells in your body use sugar, also known as glucose. If it goes untreated, gestational diabetes can result in high blood sugar, which can affect both your and your baby's health. Fortunately, gestational diabetes is fairly simple to control with diet and exercise. If necessary, you OBGYN, someone like Florham Park OB/GYN Dr. Donald Chervenak MD, can also give you medication to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Learn more about gestational diabetes, and what you need to do to treat it at home.

Monitoring Your Blood Sugar

When you're being treated for gestational diabetes, your OBGYN or solo practitioner will most likely want your blood glucose levels to mirror that of a pregnant woman without gestational diabetes. You should be prepared to check your own blood sugar levels at home several times per day. This is most often done using a simple prick test that draws a small drop of blood from your fingertip to test. According to the American Diabetes Association, a pregnant woman's blood sugar levels should be at 95 mg/dl or less before a meal, 140 mg/dl or less one hour after a meal, and 120 mg/dl or less two hours after a meal.

Meet With a Dietitian

Altering your diet is a must when you have gestational diabetes, so you should talk to your OBGYN about referring you to a registered dietitian — preferably one that is a certified diabetes educator (CTE). Together, your OBGYN and your nutritionist can come up with a diet and exercise plan to will help get your gestational diabetes under control.

General Diet Tips

Some general diet tips for people with gestational diabetes include:

  • Limit your carbohydrate intake
  • Drink small amounts of milk at a time — milk is full of carbohydrates, but it's good for you. Don't avoid it completely. Just drink small amounts at a time.
  • Eat a protein-filled breakfast — blood sugar levels are harder to control in the morning because your hormone levels fluctuate while you sleep.
  • Distribute your food between three meals and two snacks per day — eating too much at one sitting can cause your blood sugar to rise too much, and your baby's increased nutritional needs require balanced nutrition.
  • Avoid added sugars — opt for artificial sweeteners instead.
  • Avoid fruit juice — and limit your fruit intake to one or two small portions per day.

The good news is, gestational diabetes typically goes away after you deliver your baby. So for now, listen to your OBGYN, solo practitioner, and dietitian to create a diet and exercise plan that keeps your gestational diabetes under control.


30 November 2016

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