What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs in pregnant women. Though it can be an alarming diagnosis, it’s quite common and very manageable. In fact, 10 percent of pregnancies in the U.S. are affected by gestational diabetes every year.
There is no known cause for gestational diabetes, but placental hormones can cause insulin resistance. Other times, a mother’s body can’t produce all of the insulin it needs and as a result, glucose can’t leave the mother’s bloodstream, which can lead to hyperglycemia. Both insulin resistance and hyperglycemia lead to a diagnosis of gestational diabetes.
When you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which usually occurs about half way through a pregnancy, the key is to act quickly. Though it’s a common and treatable condition, when it’s not addressed, gestational diabetes can hurt the mother and her baby.
If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, work with your doctor to design a treatment plan. Here are a few key areas to focus on as you manage gestational diabetes.
Monitor Blood Sugar
Depending on the severity of your diagnosis, your doctor may recommend managing your blood sugar level through special meal plans, but they also may recommend daily blood sugar testing and insulin injections.
Manage a Healthy Diet
As mentioned above, an effective method of managing blood sugar is sticking to a meal plan recommended by your doctor. By knowing the best foods and developing a menu of go-to meal options, you’ll keep your blood sugar steady.
Engage in Exercise
Maintaining healthy activity levels is a great way to stay healthy during pregnancy, and to maintain steady blood sugar levels. Ask your doctor what exercise is safe for you and your pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes can be managed by paying extra care and attention to your diet, activity levels and your blood sugar. By working with your doctor on an effective gestational diabetes treatment plan, you’ll have a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby.