Every mom-to-be gets tested for gestational diabetes -- could you be at risk? And if you do have it, how can you keep you and baby healthy? We've got answers.
What’s the best way to treat gestational diabetes?
Good control of gestational diabetes is important during pregnancy. Treatment of gestational diabetes includes regular exercise and increased fluid intake. Diet is essential in handling this problem. Your doctor will probably recommend a six-meal, 2,000- to 2,500-calorie-per-day eating plan. You may also be referred to a dietitian. Research shows that women who receive dietary counseling, blood-sugar monitoring and insulin therapy (when needed) do better during pregnancy than women who receive routine care. Many experts believe that glyburide, an oral hypoglycemic agent used to treat type 2 diabetes, is a good alternative to insulin, and just as effective, in treating women with gestational diabetes.
In a 2014 study, researchers at the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente Northern California found that women with a history of gestational diabetes were at higher risk of developing early heart disease after pregnancy. So speak to your doctor about how your condition may affect your future health, and what lifestyle and treatment choices you should be making longterm.
What can I do to prevent gestational diabetes?
Maybe nothing. It’s unknown exactly what causes gestational diabetes, but it might be a result of hormones blocking the insulin in your body. Maintaining a healthy weight before your pregnancy can help lower your risk.
What do other pregnant moms do when they have gestational diabetes?
“I had [GD] with my first, who was 6 pounds, 12 ounces, at birth, and now I have it again with my second. I was terrified the first time around. If you eat healthy and keep your blood-glucose levels where they need to be, you and your baby should be fine.”
“The worst part is remembering to prick your finger after you eat...and when you get major cravings, you can’t indulge. But you can still snack healthily -- PB&J and peanut butter and apples became staples for me!”
“I thought the diagnosis was going to stop me from having the type of birth experience I wanted, but it didn’t. I was able to have a natural birth.”
Are there any other resources for gestational diabetes?
American Diabetes Association
Plus, more from The Bump:
Prenatal Tests and Checkups
Glucose Tolerance Test
Nutrition During Pregnancy
Some info from Your Pregnancy Week By Week, 6th edition, by Glade Curtis, MD, and Judith Schuler, MS. Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2007.
See More: 2nd Trimester , Pregnancy Symptoms , Prenatal Tests
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Reminder: Medical info on The Bump is FYI only and doesn't replace a visit to a medical professional.