Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. If a woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes while she is pregnant and ignores treatment, she and the baby may develop complications.
Who is at High Risk?
According to the National Agricultural Library’s Food and Nutrition Centre, women belonging to the following demographic groups may be at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes compared with other women.
• Women of the Hispanic, African American, Asian, Native American and Pacific Islander origins.
• Overweight women
• Woman with a family history of gestational diabetes
• Women older than 25 years of age
• Large baby i.e. a baby greater than 9 pounds or stillbirth in the previous pregnancy
• History of polycystic ovary syndrome
• History of abnormal glucose intolerance.
How to Reduce the Risk of Gestational Diabetes
If you belong to the above mentioned groups, you may be inevitably likely to develop gestational diabetes at the time of your pregnancy. The risks, however, can be reduced if you balance your lifestyle with your immutable possibilities of developing the disease. Some of the measure you can take include the following:
Make Healthy Food Choices
Pick foods that are low in simple sugar. You must strictly avoid drinks or foods that are sweetened with honey or sugar. Drink as less of fruit juice as possible, instead eat more of whole fruits.
Consume fibrous foods. To do so, decrease the amount of white flour products from your kitchen’s shelves like white bread, cereals and tortillas. Foods that are dense with fibre can control blood sugar levels from soaring. When shopping for grocery, choose whole grain breads or cereals, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Limit the intake of fast foods by avoiding breaded and deep fried foods like fried chicken, French fries and fish sticks. Choose baked and grilled foods and avoid sweet sauces. Mustard and mayonnaise are fine for consumption.
Eat Small Meals Frequently
Eating 3—4 meals and having 2—3 healthful snacks every day can help you control blood sugar levels. Remember to not skip meals.
Talk to your health care provider about any exercise program that you must start. He/she would know your health best and would therefore, be the best source to suggest an exercise program for you. Exercise helps the body use the blood sugar. You may walk for 15 minutes post each mean and thereby, help keep the blood sugar levels under control.
Make sure that you do not walk in hot or humid weather conditions and drink plenty of water while exercising.
Maintain Healthy Weight
Weight gain is necessary to support the healthy growth of the baby. An excess or too little weight gain can lead to health problems for you as well as the baby. Remember that whatever weight you gain during pregnancy depends on the pre-pregnancy weight.
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