Women who develop diabetes while they are pregnant suffer from a condition called gestational diabetes or gestational diabetes mellitus, also called GDM. The disease strikes about 5 percent of women who are pregnant, or close to 200,000 a year, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The same side effects occur in women with gestational diabetes as others with diabetes – your insulin levels malfunction, causing a buildup of glucose or sugar in your blood. A healthy diet and treatment plan can ensure that you'll carry a healthy baby.
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Diabetes Guidelines in Pregnancy
Work out a specific diet plan with your physician. You'll need to monitor your blood sugar daily and possibly take insulin to regulate your glucose levels. Controlling your carbohydrate intake plays a significant role in managing the disease, according to the American Diabetes Association. Regular exercise is recommended, and you need to maintain a healthy weight, gaining only enough to support your baby. A daily journal can help your doctor adjust your diet plan to accommodate your blood sugar levels.
Carbs, Diabetes and Pregnancy
Carbohydrates provide important nutrients for you and your baby and should not be eliminated. Instead, space out your carb intake into five or six small portions throughout the day, according to the UCFS Medical Center. Spacing out your carbohydrate intake will help to control your blood sugar levels. You'll get your carbohydrates from bread, cereal, pasta, beans and rice. Milk, yogurt, fruit and some vegetables also are high in carbohydrates. Even though you must manage your carbohydrate intake, you still should get 1 cup of starch per meal.
Most likely, your doctor will advise you to avoid foods high in sugar that drastically affect your glucose levels. Refrain from eating candy, cake, cookies and other desserts. Sugared soft drinks and fruit juice will be off-limits for your entire pregnancy. Fresh or frozen fruit usually is permitted because they contain fiber, which helps to slow down the conversion of dietary carbohydrate into glucose, or blood sugar. Limit fruit consumption to about one to three servings per day, however.
In addition to tracking and spacing out your carbohydrate intake, eat at regular intervals to maintain proper blood sugar levels. According to the UCFS Medical Center, you should never skip breakfast, because hormone levels tend to fluctuate more rapidly in the morning. Protein and one serving of starch makes for a well-tolerated morning meal. Since milk is a liquid form of carbohydrate, limit your consumption to one glass at a time because it can affect your blood sugar levels. Artificial sweeteners usually are appropriate during pregnancy when you need to limit your sugar consumption. UCFS Medical Center reports that artificial sweeteners approved for use during pregnancy include sucralose, acesulfame K and aspartame.