How Is Gestational Diabetes Managed After Pregnancy
Research has shown that women with gestational diabetes have a 3 to 7 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years which is why its so important to make those healthy habits routine during pregnancy and keep a check on your health even after your pregnancy is over.
Here are a few ways to stay healthy after baby is born:
Can You Prevent Gestational Diabetes
The Mayo Clinic explains that there’s no way to completely prevent gestational diabetes, but they recommend a few lifestyle modifications to reduce the likelihood of acquiring the condition, including:
- Balanced eating: While the Mayo Clinic mentions weight loss prior to pregnancy as a way to promote a healthy pregnancy in general, they emphasize the importance of “making lasting changes to your eating habits.” This means eating a variety of foods including ones high in fiber, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Regular exercise: Keeping active before and during pregnancy can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes.
- Monitoring weight gain during pregnancy: When you’re growing another human, weight gain is expected but you can speak to your healthcare provider about the amount of weight gain they anticipate for you.
Gestational diabetes may also have a genetic component, meaning it’s likely that modifiable factors are only one piece of the puzzle.
Following This Plan Can Help With Better Management Of Gestational Diabetes:
With gestational diabetes, you need to limit your carb intake and space meals properly. Eating lots of carbs at a time can lead to a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Instead, you must eat more of complex carbs or combine carbs with proteins.
Proteins should be included in your diet with carbs. This will help you maintain the perfect blood sugar balance. Lean proteins are recommended for women with gestational diabetes.
3. Unsaturated, healthy fats
Follow these basic, healthy eating rules:
- Include proteins in every meal
- Include daily fruits and veggies in your diet
- Fat intake should be less than 30%
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible
- Avoid overeating
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Benefits Of Keeping Active
Physical activity helps to reduce insulin resistance. Regular exercise, like walking, helps to increase fitness and prepares you for the birth of your baby. Physical activity also helps manage blood glucose levels.
Remember, before starting or continuing any form of physical activity, always check with your obstetrician or midwife.
Its never too late to start moving, and there are many ways that you can keep active as a part of your everyday routine. Basically, anything that gets you moving is generally good for your diabetes and will also improve your overall feeling of wellbeing. For example, walking is a great way to move.
Do Exercise To Improve Blood Sugar
Appropriate regular physical activity is often recommended during pregnancy, even without diabetes. But if you have gestational diabetes, being active is a must. Regular exercise is also beneficial to overall health and may help to improve glucose metabolism, advises Heard. Respect your pregnant status and choose exercises that wont put you at risk. For example, swimming, water aerobics, and walking are all great choices, while high-impact aerobics or activities such as basketball, which could lead to impacts or falls, should be sidelined for a while.
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Problems Of Gestational Diabetes In Pregnancy
Blood sugar that is not well controlled in a woman with gestational diabetes can lead to problems for the pregnant woman and the baby:
An Extra Large Baby
Diabetes that is not well controlled causes the babys blood sugar to be high. The baby is overfed and grows extra large. Besides causing discomfort to the woman during the last few months of pregnancy, an extra large baby can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby. The mother might need a C-Section to deliver the baby. The baby can be born with nerve damage due to pressure on the shoulder during delivery.
A C-section is an operation to deliver the baby through the mothers belly. A woman who has diabetes that is not well controlled has a higher chance of needing a C-section to deliver the baby. When the baby is delivered by a C-section, it takes longer for the woman to recover from childbirth.
High Blood Pressure
When a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, and often swelling in fingers and toes that doesnt go away, she might have preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by her doctor. High blood pressure can cause harm to both the woman and her unborn baby. It might lead to the baby being born early and also could cause seizures or a stroke in the woman during labor and delivery. Women with diabetes have high blood pressure more often than women without diabetes.
Low Blood Sugar
How Do You Know If You Blood Sugars Are In A Healthy Range
Most women with gestational diabetes check their blood sugar with a blood glucose meter. This device uses a very small drop of blood from your finger to measure your blood sugar level. Target blood sugar levels are generally as follows:
- Before meals, at bedtime, and overnight: 95 mg/dl or less
- 1 hour after eating: 140 mg/dl or less
- 2 hours after eating: 120 mg/dl or less
Your health care provider should discuss your target levels with you and advise you as to when and how often to check your blood sugars.
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Who Is Most At Risk For Gestational Diabetes
While researchers aren’t certain why some women get gestational diabetes while others dont, they do know that you may be at an increased risk if:
In the U.S., about 90 percent of pregnant women have at least one risk factor for gestational diabetes, which is why universal screening is thought to be the most practical approach.
Low Glycemic Load In Diabetic Diet
The glycemic load of food is a number that tells how much a particular food item when consumed will spike a persons blood glucose level. We have to multiply the GI of the food by the number of carbohydrate grams in a single serving and then divide the given number by 100.
- Glycemic Load between 1 and 10 is low
- A GL between 11 to 19 is considered moderate
- Glycemic Load which is 20 or higher is considered high
For those with diabetes, you want your diet to have low values of GL.
The insulin index refers to the capacity of the food to raise the level of insulin after 2 hours of intake.
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Do Eat Carbohydrates On Your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan
Brace yourself: Carbohydrates are an important part of your gestational diabetes diet. They are fuel for your body and for your growing baby. The average person needs 135 grams of carbohydrates daily, but if you have gestational diabetes, that increases to 175 grams a day, says registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator Meredith Nguyen, RD, who is a member of the diabetes self-management program staff at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas. Pregnancy hormones can make it hard to control morning blood sugar, says Nguyen, so you might be spreading carbs more through lunch and dinner. Eating a wide variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits , vegetables, and dairy products, will give you the carbs you need. High-fiber or low-glycemic foods will help keep your blood sugar more even and help you feel full longer as well.
How Exercise Affects Blood Sugar
Exercise during pregnancy has been shown to provide numerous health benefits and minimal risks to the mother or developing fetus. While you should always talk to your doctor about safe exercises to do while pregnant, as well as exploring movement that you enjoy, don’t underestimate physical activity as part of your plan to manage gestational diabetes if you are able.
Referring to exercise as “movement” may open up many other ways to move each day. And you can start wherever you are at, physically. Walking for 10 minutes per day, and gradually building up if and as you are able, is a great place to start.
The earlier you begin a physical activity program in pregnancy, the easier it may be to maintain throughout all three trimesters. But don’t let that stop you if you’re farther along in your pregnancy and want to start moving more now. Consider a prenatal yoga class, Pilates, or swimming as low-impact options. You might even meet some other parents-to-be.
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Healthy Eating For Gestational Diabetes
Healthy eating is a key part of looking after gestational diabetes. Eating well will help you to:
- keep your blood glucose levels within your target range
- provide your body with the nutrients it needs to support your growing baby
- have a healthy pregnancy weight gain.
When youre pregnant there is no need to eat for two, but you will need to slightly increase the amount of healthy foods you eat in the second and third trimester. This is to make sure you get all the nutrients you need to keep you well and help your baby grow. These nutrients include iodine, folic acid, iron, vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Follow The Plate Method For Easy Portion Control
The plate method lets you eyeball appropriate portions without having to actually pull out a measuring cup or count calories, which makes plating out a balanced, healthy meal simple and easy. Aim to make half your plate nonstarchy vegetables, a quarter of your plate lean protein, and a quarter of your plate whole grains at each meal. It’s important to eat a consistent amount of carbohydrates at each meal.
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Did Some Foods Increase Your Glucose Levels Above 78mmol
- Could you consider having a smaller portion or an alternative option next time?
- Some mothers find pairing carbohydrates with a protein or a small portion of a healthy fat can help to prevent post-meal spikes. For example:
- A portion of fruit with a teaspoon of no-added-sugar nut butter/ thin slice of cheese.
- Slice of seeded toast with a poached egg/tbsp of mashed avocado/ tsp of no-added-sugar nut butter.
Please note: For some expecting mothers it is not possible to manage their blood glucose levels through dietary changes alone and it may be necessary to start medication to help. Please do not feel that you have failed if this is the case.
How Does Gd Affect Your Baby After Birth
Babies who are born to mothers with gestational diabetes should be tested for low blood sugar , even if they have no symptoms, with a simple blood test after birth. This happens immediately after delivery, while you and baby are still in the hospital.
After birth, its essential to keep the focus you had during pregnancy on a healthy lifestyle for your whole family you may find that it helps you stick to your resolutions as well.
Teach your child good eating and exercise habits early on: If you had gestational diabetes, your baby could be at a higher risk for health problems, including obesity as a child or teen and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes later in life, according to the CDC.
To help avoid a type 2 diabetes diagnosis for your child, aim to ensure that he or she:
- Eats nutritious meals. The same diet you follow during pregnancy and beyond is good for your child, too. When he gets old enough, have him help you in the kitchen children who help prepare dishes are more likely to eat them.
- Gets plenty of exercise as he grows. Start by taking walks. As he gets older, toddler soccer and other activities are a great way to get him interested in healthy movement.
- Maintains a healthy weight. Talk to his pediatrician to make sure his BMI is on target, and talk openly to him about healthy weight and the increase in obesity he might notice in school.
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Treatment For Gestational Diabetes
If your blood sugar results aren’t within the recommended limits for the follow-up glucose tolerance test, your doctor will want to keep a closer eye on your blood sugar for the remainder of your pregnancy. It’s possible that making dietary changes or getting more physical activity will be enough to keep your levels within recommended limits. If not, medication may be recommended. Either way, testing your own blood sugar will be a part of your daily routine.
Gestational Diabetes Food List
Theres no one-size-fits-all food plan that works for every mom-to-be with gestational diabetes. Much of it means paying attention to how many carbs youre eating in relation to protein and fats. Carbs make blood sugar spike the most, so they should be limited.
Everyones dietary needs and tolerance to carbohydrates varies, explains Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE and author of Real Food for Gestational Diabetes. The best way to know youre eating the right quantity of carbohydrates and balance of foods at mealtimes is to pay close attention to your blood sugar response after meals.
Thats why its important for women with gestational diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels with a glucose meter. Sure, pricking your finger several times a day may not be your idea of a good time, but your blood glucose levels really will tell you how your bodys responding to what and how youre eating. You and your doctor or dietician can tweak your gestational diabetes diet plan as you go to make it work for you.
In general, a diet women with gestational diabetes should aim for should include:
Also consider taking a walk after a meal, since even a little bit of exercise after eating can lower blood sugar levels and help you manage your gestational diabetes.
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What Causes Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes means that your body isnt making enough insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. During pregnancy, your body makes more hormones, and you also gain weight. These changes affect how your body uses insulin, called insulin resistance.
All pregnant women have some insulin resistance during late pregnancy, but some women have insulin resistance before they get pregnant they then start pregnancy with a higher need for insulin, and this puts them at risk for gestational diabetes.
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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How Does It Work
Dates are well-researched. Their benefits regarding late-term pregnancy and easing labor circumstances are being studied. Researchers believe that dates make the uterine muscles respond better to oxytocin. This leads to more effective contractions. Oxytocin is the pregnancy hormone that induces uterine contractions during labor. It is also the same hormone given to induce labor. Researchers found that women who consumed dates in late-stage pregnancy did not require as much oxytocin. This is compared to the women who did not consume dates.
When the compounds in dates bind with the oxytocin receptors, they mimic the way oxytocin behaves during labor and contractions. Thus, labor is potentially eased. This is a result of the oxytocin receptors being occupied.
Date fruit also may influence progesterone and estrogen levels. In turn, this positively impacts cervical ripening. This effect has downstream implications. They promote cervical dilation. They can also shorten labor and delivery time.
In fact, another study proves the same result. The women ate dates beginning at 37 weeks. It was found that they needed less oxytocin to stimulate the birthing process and induce labor.
National Gestational Diabetes Register
The National Gestational Diabetes Register was established within the National Diabetes Services Scheme to help women who have had gestational diabetes to manage their health into the future. Women who have had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you register on the National Gestational Diabetes Register, you and your doctor will be sent regular reminders to have diabetes checks. You will also receive information for you and your family to help you continue a healthy lifestyle.
Registration is free. Women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, reside in Australia and hold, or are eligible to hold, an Australian Medicare Card are entitled to register.
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Dinner Ideas For Gestational Diabetes
Turkey Burger And Sweet Potato Fries
I absolutely love sweet potato fries and the nutrition information for this is based off of making them homemade using this recipe. One serving is about 1/2 a sweet potato.
1 Burger: Carbs 0 Calories 190
1 Slice Swiss: Carbs 1 Calories 70
Sweet Potato Fries: Carbs 13 Calories 56
2 Tbs. Ketchup: Carbs 10 Calories 40
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp, Brown Rice, And Broccoli
Lemon Garlic Butter Shrimp: Carbs 7 Calories 254
1/2 Cup Brown Rice: Carbs 22 Calories 108
1 Cup Broccoli: Carbs 11 Calories 55
Achieving Normal Pregnancy Weight Gain
The amount of weight you gain during pregnancy will vary depending on your weight before your pregnancy. Althought weight loss is good for people with type 2 diabetes, weight loss is not recommended for pregnant women. Talk to your health-care provider to determine the appropriate weight gain for your body.