Gestational Diabetes (Baby Sugar): How to Deal With it During Pregnancy?

Diabetes is one of the most common non-contractable diseases prevalent for decades all across the globe. Uncontrolled diabetes is like a slow poison that people usually don't understand in the beginning. 

Diabetes during pregnancy is any women's worst nightmare as it comes with high-risk factors of congenital disabilities, miscarriage, or even preterm birth. 

Unfortunately, 9 out of every 100 pregnant women in the U.S. develop gestational diabetes. If you are pregnant and wondering about how to deal with gestational diabetes, stick through because this blog post will fractionate everything you need to know.

What is gestational diabetes aka baby sugar?

Gestational diabetes is a nonpermanent form of diabetes and is one of the most common health problems for pregnant women throughout the globe. An early stage of the condition is glucose intolerance. This condition is based on how hormones affect your body during pregnancy. It occurs in 5-7% of all pregnancies, so you’re not alone. 

An organ called the placenta connects mother and baby and is responsible for supplying food and water. Placenta also makes some hormones, and some of these hormones make it hard for insulin to do its job controlling blood sugar levels aka blood glucose-insulin. 

During pregnancy, your body has to make about three times its average amount of insulin. Diabetes develops when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin for pregnancy. Without enough insulin, your blood sugar can’t leave the blood to be converted into energy. 

Thus, it causes the extra sugar to build up in the blood resulting in the disease. Gestational diabetes can occur at any stage of pregnancy. Usually, it happens in the second or third trimester. Insulin resistance occurs during pregnancy for a reason.

 Now while the IR that occurs during pregnancy isn’t a bad thing, it does put women at increased risks of gestational diabetes. As mentioned earlier, if left untreated, this disease comes with various risk factors. However, if you keep your blood sugar levels in a safe range, you can easily avoid the risks.

Ways to Deal with Gestational Diabetes during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the beginning of an incredible journey, but the one thing that can cause a few hiccups is gestational diabetes. This form of diabetes typically doesn't have symptoms. And usually, patients are tested using a simple glucose tolerance test. 

Early detection of the disease can prevent adverse outcomes. Like any other form of diabetes, treatment will mostly be a healthy diet, daily exercise, blood sugar monitoring, and good habits. Here are ways to deal wit baby sugar during pregnancy.

  • Healthy Diet

Following the diet that your dietician prescribes is essential. It likely will consist mainly of high fiber fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Simple sugars, carbohydrates, and processed food will be limited. 

The goal of the diet is to maintain an average blood sugar level. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet may help you manage your symptoms without needing medication.

Adopting healthy methods to cook is just as crucial as choosing nutritious foods. Try baking, steaming, and grilling your food rather than deep-frying it.

 Limit the consumption of fats and increase the consumption of fibers. Also, try keeping track of your meal plan to know exactly what and when you are consuming.

Tip: Three small, well-spaced meals and three snacks will help keep your blood sugar on an even keel.

  • Daily Exercise

Exercise according to your obstetrician's guidelines. Experts say daily walking and swimming are excellent workouts for pregnant women. It can also help to govern the blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.

 However, physicians prescribe less than 30 minutes of light physical exercise five times per week for pregnant women. It can include swimming, walking, and yoga. Don't do any laborious exercise without the consultation of your doctor.

  • Medications

Sometimes, both diet and exercise don’t bring your blood sugar levels down. In those cases, your doctor may inject you with insulin or prescribe to take oral medications. Follow your doctor’s advice strictly.

  • Blood Sugar Monitoring

Stay on top of your ailment by monitoring your blood sugar with a blood glucose meter regularly.  Testing it several times a day might help i-e upon waking up, before each meal, and an hour or two after each meal. In case of high glucose levels, seek your doctor's advice at once. 

Admissible blood sugar levels are 95 or less upon waking up, 140 or less after one hour of having a meal, and 120 or less after two hours. Please note that these values are generic. Consult your physician for your particular values.

  • Medical Check-up After Giving Birth

During pregnancy, women who have gestational diabetes need to do medical checkups after giving birth to see if the condition is still intact.

 It is imperative to return to your doctor six to twelve weeks after giving birth to have your blood sugar retested. Most often than not, blood sugar levels return to normal post-childbirth.

  • Follow Your Routine Even After the Delivery

There are increased risks of developing type 2 diabetes later in life due to gestational diabetes by 50%. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the meal plans and exercise routine even after giving birth so you won’t develop the condition later in life. Staying away from sugary drinks and fatty foods will help you with your overall health as well.

Did you know? Delivering a baby weighing more than 9lbs can potentially increase your risks of developing diabetes during your subsequent pregnancy as well. 

Final Verdict

It is understandable that wouldn’t like to be on a strict diet or on an exercise routine during pregnancy when you’re already going through so much. However, it is necessary to take care of yourself and the baby growing in your belly. 

You can always add a little fun element to your otherwise strict routine by having a cheat day. Don’t get me wrong, cheat days don’t include sugars and carbonated foods. You can however take a break from your exercise routine.

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  1. Informative piece! Managing gestational diabetes during pregnancy is crucial. Your insights offer practical advice for expectant mothers, empowering them to navigate this health challenge with knowledge and resilience.
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