How To Manage Gestational Diabetes

One in six moms-to-be will experience gestational diabetes. So what is it and how can you manage it?

Gestational diabetes happens when you have too much sugar (glucose) in your blood during pregnancy. Having too much sugar in your blood can cause problems for you and your baby, resulting in having to take extra care during your pregnancy in order to avoid further complications during labour or to your baby when he or she is born.

How can I manage gestational diabetes during the remainder of my pregnancy?

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, don’t fret. Gestational diabetes is very common, affecting as many as one in six mums-to-be. Luckily, gestational diabetes usually goes away after your baby is born. However, it is important that you keep a watchful eye on it through exercise and good nutrition.

Exercise

Your midwife or OB will likely recommend that you begin daily moderate exercise of at least 30 minutes. This can include a brisk walk on the treadmill, aqua-aerobics or any other prenatal focused fitness class. Every time you exercise it helps to lower your blood sugar levels. Before starting any new exercise, advise with your doctor or midwife. The point is to elevate your heart rate and to avoid being still for long periods of time, such as sitting at a desk or watching TV for hours on end.

Nutrition

If you have gestational diabetes, the types of food and drink you'll be advised to have are no different from the type of healthy diet everyone should have. Your diet should be high in complex carbohydrates (Vegetables and whole grains) and low in saturated fat (butter, chips and fast food). 


You should not have added sugars, such as cookies, sweet drinks and/or desserts. It's best if you eat fruit, milk and yoghurts as part of a mixed meal. Your body will then absorb the simple sugars (natural sugars) in the juice or dairy food more slowly. That's because the sugars are mixed with other food elements, such as fibre and protein.

If diet and exercise aren't enough to keep you well, you may need to take medication to control your blood sugar levels or to inject insulin. This may sound a bit intimidating, but by keeping your blood sugar levels under control you'll be doing your best to keep yourself and your baby well.

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