Gestational diabetes is one of the most common complications during pregnancy and almost 4% of pregnant women have to deal with this during their pregnancy. Saying this, it is very important to know about what is gestational diabetes and what causes it so that we can make changes in our lifestyle to deal with the problem.
Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that develops during the pregnancy and if left untreated might have serious repercussions on the health of babies as well as the mother. If left untreated, the baby might have to face complications during the birth like having injuries on arms and shoulders. Also, complications like dropping of blood sugar levels of newborn or developing breathing problems and jaundice are some issues that your new born might have to face. I am sure, these are certain complications you would never want your baby to face and therefore treating gestational diabetes becomes important.
In order to carry out proper treatment, it is necessary to know about the causes of gestational diabetes. Certain hormones start increasing their levels in the placenta of a pregnant woman, which leads to a condition, called insulin resistance in the body of a pregnant woman. As the pregnancy proceeds, the insulin resistance increases at a much faster rate. In normal conditions, pancreas in the mother’s body produces more insulin so as to overcome this resistance. In certain special cases, the pancreas cannot function properly and this leads to increased levels of sugar in the body leading to gestational diabetes.
Although you need to have regular checkups and stay in touch with your gynecologist so that you are able to provide all the necessary nutrients to the baby in the womb but you also need to make sure that the sugar levels in the body of a mother does not increase. This is not an easy task.
There are certain lifestyle changes that can help you deal with this gestational diabetes efficiently and take care of your baby as well.
- Take small meals, which are distributed, at regular intervals. It’s advised that those who have gestational diabetes should take on an average 5-6 meals daily and keep the meal size small so as to prevent increasing sugar levels.
- You need to keep away from sugars, as it will put you and your baby at a risk. So, you no longer need to have soda drinks, candies, juices and other artificial sweeteners you might crave for during this period.
- Carbohydrate rich foods are high in sugars. Even healthy carbohydrates like fruits, breads, milk, cereals, and yogurt are rich in sugar levels. It’s true that the above mentioned food items are important for a healthy baby. So, look out for sugar free products. These products are made of aspartame, acesulfame potassium, sucralose etc. which are sweetners but keep the products sugar free.
- Fruits are always advised during pregnancy, as they are rich in fiber along with providing essential nutrients. However, those with gestational diabetes should make sure that they eat only a small portion of any fruit instead of eating all of it. In addition, fruit juices are a big no for you.
- Instead of fruits, pregnant women with GD can try vegetables, as they are rich in fiber and nutrients minus the sugars. You can try a lot of variety in vegetables including tomatoes, cauliflower, green beans, artichokes, carrots and other such leafy vegetables.
- Protein rich foods like low fat meat, poultry, nuts, eggs and others are the best way to have a healthy baby even when you have gestational diabetes. The reason is that these are bodybuilding foods with no effect on sugar levels of the mother.
- When choosing fats, you need to make sure that you consume fewer amounts and that too only the healthy fats that have less effect on your sugar levels. This is why, walnuts, omega -3 fats from fish, are good. However, make sure you choose fish with less mercury content, as mercury in fishes like swordfish; tilefish might have serious effects on pregnant mother.
- It is very necessary to keep a check on weight gain during pregnancy if you are suffering from gestational diabetes. If you already have a problem with weight, a mild restriction of calories and that too under supervision of experts can help you deal with your condition more efficiently.
- Exercise is the best way to keep your weight under control. Exercises like walking are best for your sugar levels and help you during your course of pregnancy.
It is very necessary to have some qualified medical experts as your advisor during your pregnancy. They will keep a regular check on your sugar levels and help you deal with your situation with ease, thereby keeping your baby and you safe and healthy.