Gestational diabetes is a common complication of pregnancy which can affect both the mother and the baby. Certain factors which increase the risk of gestational diabetes are obesity, family history of diabetes, rapid weight gain, and certain racial identities. You can modify your risk of developing gestational diabetes by following certain measures.
- Maintain a healthy weight gain: Weight gain in pregnancy is a common concern as excess weight gain can increase the risk of several complications in pregnancy. Your doctor or dietician can recommend the appropriate weight gain for you in each trimester based on your pre-pregnancy weight.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet: It is a misconception that pregnant women need to eat for 2 people. You need only about 300 extra Kcal during pregnancy; so avoid overeating.
- Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods such as bananas, brown rice, and pasta, dried fruits such as raisins, potatoes, instant noodle soups, and grapes that can trigger gestational diabetes. The way you can know about your response to these 'trigger foods' is by observing what you ate before you had a high reading and try to find a pattern. If the foods have triggered the glucose response of your body then avoid the concerned food.
- Exercise: It is a misconception that pregnant women should not do any exercise. Follow your doctor’s recommendations on exercise. Moderate physical activity (walking, cycling) helps to improve the utilisation of glucose, decreases insulin resistance and lowers blood sugar.
- Go for regular pre-natal check-ups: Go for regular prenatal visits as these help to improve your health and the health of your baby by early detection and appropriate treatment of any complication.
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