From finding out that you’re pregnant, to actually being pregnant, and then to finally give birth, there are so many different emotions that a pregnant woman goes through. Excitement, fear, exhaustion, anxiety, and stress are just a few of them. But whether it’s your first child or your tenth, nothing compares to the added stress that comes after you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
The good news is that with careful eating, consistent monitoring, and in some cases, medications, you’ll both be home from the hospital, and healthy, in no time.
One of the key components to handling gestational diabetes is your diet. You want to eat meals at evenly spaced intervals which are higher in protein, lower in starchy foods, and absent of sugary foods. This can be difficult, especially for a pregnant woman who is hungry all of her waking hours, and who constantly craves sweets, but it’s important for everyone’s health.
Writing out a daily meal plan in advance will help. Knowing what you’re going to eat all day long takes the focus off the food, and puts it back on planning meals. It’s also helpful to be prepared when you’re away from home. Take snacks along, and even bring a small cooler filled with your prepared foods. Take a few extra food items, in case you don’t get back home as soon as you originally planned.
Another aspect that is controllable is exercise. A daily walk is a great idea for mom and baby. Spend 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening walking around your neighborhood or on the treadmill. Make sure you use the restroom before you go, take a small snack and a bottle of water, and get moving. Wear a watch or take your cell phone, and start heading back towards home at the 8 minute mark. This way you don’t get too far away from home before you realize it’s time to turn around.
A woman with gestational diabetes also needs to stay in constant contact with her healthcare provider. This is important so she can monitor the health of mom and the baby because gestational diabetes can lead to negative consequences for both if left unchecked and untreated.
The good news about gestational diabetes is that, for most women, it goes away after the pregnancy is over. The bad news is that a woman previously diagnosed with gestational diabetes will likely be diagnosed with it again in subsequent pregnancies. Plus, some women will be diagnosed with diabetes Type 1 or Types 2 later in life.
By paying close attention to what you put in your mouth, exercising daily, and staying in contact with your doctor, you should be able to have a happy, healthy pregnancy and baby, in spite of the gestational diabetes diagnosis. Be sure to contact our certified diabetes educator for your gestational diabetes educational needs.