How Can I Avoid Gestational Diabetes?

The signs of gestational diabetes are not always evident to pregnant women.

Gestational diabetes is a condition where the blood of a pregnant woman contains too much sugar. It means that her body is not efficiently converting sugar to energy.

ON THIS PAGE:

Known signs of gestational diabetes.

What are the causes of gestational diabetes?

How does gestational diabetes affect the mother and the baby?

What are the warning signs of gestational diabetes?

How can I prevent gestational diabetes?

 

The signs of gestational diabetes are easier to be noticed by through medical tests by a health practitioner. Between your 24th to 28th week of pregnancy, your doctor would have checked the sugar level of your urine. This is the time pregnant women are more susceptible to gestational diabetes.

Most fertile days to get pregnant

Some of the known signs of gestational diabetes are:

  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Tiredness and of course
  • High sugar level in the blood

 

What are the causes of gestational diabetes?

The placenta releases some hormones (especially from the 24th week of pregnancy) that tend to block the body from producing insulin. When insulin becomes inadequate, your body is unable to efficiently convert sugar to energy.

 

How does gestational diabetes affect the mother and the baby?

 First, a pregnant woman with gestational diabetes has a higher risk of developing typeII diabetes later in life. The excessive sugar in the pregnant woman’s blood can damage her body organs. The baby she is carrying risks becoming too big.

 

This can cause complications during childbirth. The baby can also suffer low glucose level and breathing problems after delivery. The baby also has a higher risk of developing type II diabetes later in life. There is also the tendency for the child to suffer obesity.

 

If not well managed, gestational diabetes can result in miscarriage. If the gestational diabetes started in the first trimester, it can cause deformity in the baby.

 

What are the warning signs of gestational diabetes?

Some degree of insulin resistance is expected in late pregnancy. Unfortunately, in some women, this results in gestational diabetes. Some of the warnings that point one being at a higher risk of gestational diabetes include:

  • Obesity
  • Having gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • Previous delivery of an baby weighing over 9 pounds.
  • Having a parent or sibling with type II diabetes
  • Having Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS)
  • Blacks, Indians, Asians, Hispanics, or Pacific Islanders have a higher tendency of having gestational diabetes.
  • Having pre-diabetes

 

How can I prevent gestational diabetes?

If your family has a history of the gestational diabetes, there may be nothing much you can do to prevent the disease. Also, if you are getting pregnant at an advanced age, there may be nothing much to do to prevent your chances of developing the condition.

 

But if you’re overweight, exercising to lose some weight can make a big different in preventing gestational diabetes. Also, eating a well-balanced diet can reduce your risk of developing gestational diabetes.

 

The following practical steps can reduce your risk of developing both gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes:

Exercise

Now that you are expecting a baby, get yourself into a fitness routine. A 30 minutes walk per day will go a long way. You can also join a fitness club to make it fun.

 

Eat a balanced diet

Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; lean, healthy protein; and complex carbs. Try to limit your fat intake. Saturated and trans fats (foods like butter, palm and coconut oils, cheese and processed meats) should be cut down.

 

Sugary foods and processed foods should be cut down as well. Eat high-fiber, low-fat foods like whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean red meat, poultry, legumes and fish.

 

Regulate your weight

Do your best to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI).

A BMI of 18.5-24.9 shows that you are at a healthy weight for your height. By maintaining a healthy weight, you lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes. A BMI of 25-29.9 indicates that you are slightly overweight. Of course, a BMI of over 30 indicates that you are over-weight and at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes.

 

Further reading on signs of gestational diabetes  

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