As with any pregnancy complication, gestational diabetes is one of those things that weighs heavily on the mind while carrying. Just the thought of having to endure it can put expecting mothers under tons of undue stress. Aside from the complications that can arise pertaining to your baby, mothers who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes while pregnant also have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes at some point during their lives. While there is no absolute guarantee that gestational diabetes won’t develop during your pregnancy, there are quite a few measures you can take to marginally reduce your risk; take a further look to find out what they are.
1. Get Screened Early
Many factors like age, pre-pregnancy weight, and family history can put certain women at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes, which makes catching issues early on essential. During all of your checkups, your doctor will test your urine sample for high sugar levels, but because gestational diabetes typically develops between 24 – 28 weeks, your doctor will usually do a glucose screening test around that time. As with all things pertaining to your pregnancy, you should keep a close eye on your development and alert your physician if anything seems strange.
2. Make A Pregnancy Plan
Creating a comprehensive pregnancy plan is not only a fantastic way to stay on top of your milestones and development, but help you recognize and prevent complications like gestational diabetes. For example, as overweight women are more likely to develop diabetes during their pregnancy and since it is not advised to attempt to lose weight while carrying, it might be best to plan to lose about 5 to 7% of your body weight before conceiving. Planning to eliminate the risks before your pregnancy even begins will give you a great head start.
3. Exercise Regularly
Even doing so much as taking an evening stroll around your block or doing yoga can greatly reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes as well as other pregnancy complications. About 30 minutes of exercise every day helps your body burn glucose and keep your blood sugar at a normal level. When exercising while pregnant, you should always be sure that your workouts are completely safe for you and your baby and remember not to put too much strain on your body.
4. Watch Your Diet Closely
It may be necessary to drastically change your diet if you tend to consume a lot of processed foods and sugar. Try incorporating more fiber and protein into your diet, these respectively help stabilize sugar levels in the body and aid in preventing birth defects. Also be sure to closely watch the amount of sugary fruits and snacks you consume as they can drastically raise your glucose levels. It is also important to keep an eye on your portion sizes and avoid skipping meals. If you need help coming up with an accurate, healthy diet plan try consulting with your doctor for recommendations.
5. Keep An Eye On Your Weight
As mentioned earlier, it is important to ensure that you are not actively losing weight during pregnancy, but a huge weight gain increase while carrying can be just as dangerous. Work with your doctor, and use all of the tips provided above to keep your BMI at a healthy level for both you and your baby.