If your glucose test reveals that you have gestational diabetes, you may be concerned that it will be difficult to have a healthy pregnancy. However, most mothers who get their gestational diabetes under control have relatively uneventful pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. Check out these simple tips for successfully managing your gestational diabetes:
1. Meet with a Dietitian
Many pregnant women find it helpful to meet with a dietitian to learn how to more effectively manage their gestational diabetes. The dietitian can tell you exactly how many grams of carbohydrates and protein you should eat at each meal, how many snacks you should have, and what types of foods are best for keeping your blood sugar at a healthy level. Dietitians can also provide you with some meal ideas to get you started on your new eating regime.
2. Start Exercising
Exercise is an important component for successfully controlling gestational diabetes. When you exercise, your body uses glucose in your body for energy, effectively lowering your glucose levels. It also increases your cells' insulin sensitivity so that your body requires less insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
If your pregnancy has been sedentary, start by increasing your activity in small increments. Walking and swimming are two terrific forms of exercise for pregnant women. Aim to take a brisk walk or swim most days of the week. Talk with a doctor like those at Bee Ridge Obstetrics Gynecology to determine what frequency and intensity are safe for your pregnancy.
3. Prepare for an Early Delivery
Though obstetricians try to keep your baby in the womb until your due date, if your baby is showing signs of distress or measuring large, your doctor may advise that you induce labor before your due date. Research indicates that that chance of complications for a woman with gestational diabetes increases after her due date. This is entirely dependent on your pregnancy, but it makes sense to anticipate an early delivery so that you are not left scrambling at the last minute trying to accomplish everything on your to-do list.
4. Ask Your Doctor About Additional Screening for Preeclampsia
Women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes have a slightly higher chance of developing preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a potentially life-threatening condition characterized by a rise in blood pressure and damage to the organ systems.
Most doctors check your urine for proteins that may indicate you have preeclampsia at each visit. However, if you have additional risk factors, your doctor may have you monitor your blood pressure between visits or perform a 24-hour urine catch to get a more accurate idea of your protein levels. Small increases in your blood pressure can indicate the onset of preeclampsia.