Gestational diabetes 一 a type of diabetes that only affects pregnant women 一 occurs in up to 10% of pregnancies. Left untreated, it can cause complications, such as an increased risk of preeclampsia, preterm labor, and having a large baby.
The good news is gestational diabetes can be managed with diet, exercise, and sometimes medication. The key is to determine whether you have it.
That’s why Dr. Gene Krishingner Jr. and our team here at OB/GYN Care Orlando in Oviedo, Florida, screen our pregnant patients for gestational diabetes. If you do develop this condition, we provide customized guidance to keep your blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
Here are some general tips for managing gestational diabetes when you’re pregnant.
Get regular exercise
Physical activity helps combat diabetes by making your body more sensitive to insulin. According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise helps your body stay more resistant up to 24 hours after you exercise.
As long as you’re cleared for physical activity, try to exercise 30 minutes each day. Walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga are good options.
Follow a diabetes-friendly diet
When you have diabetes, whether Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, what you eat profoundly impacts your blood sugar levels.
Focusing on the Diabetes Plate Method can help. It suggests you fill 50% of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, 25% with lean protein, and 25% with carbohydrates (whole grains or starchy vegetables). A registered dietician can also help you create a personalized meal plan.
Even if you don’t have gestational diabetes, eating this way can help keep your blood sugar in check 一 a helpful tip if you’re prediabetic.
Take medication as directed
If your blood sugar can't be controlled with diet and exercise alone, Dr. Krishingner may recommend medication or insulin. Continue to monitor your blood sugar levels and take your medication as directed.
Also, keep a piece of hard candy or glucose gel in your purse. Some women who take medication experience low blood sugar. Having candy on hand can give you the surge of sugar you need.
Practice stress management techniques
Gestational diabetes is considered a chronic health condition and means your pregnancy is considered high-risk. Stress can make matters worse.
Stress can exacerbate your cortisol and blood sugar levels, and that’s why we recommend our expectant mothers (diabetes or not) practice stress management throughout their pregnancies. A few ideas to reduce stress include:
- Practicing deep breathing
- Practicing good sleep hygiene
- Listening to calming music
- Using positive affirmations
- Practicing prenatal yoga
- Spending time in nature
We know that learning you have gestational diabetes can be unnerving, but know that you’re in good hands with Dr. Krishingner 一 an expert in high-risk pregnancies.
Because of your high-risk status, we schedule a few extra prenatal appointments to ensure you receive the monitoring needed for you and your baby.
Questions about gestational diabetes? Call us today at 321-304-6249 or book your prenatal appointment online.