How to Reduce Blood Sugar in Pregnancy

Pregnant Woman Being Given Ante Natal Check By Doctor
A pregnant woman talks to her male doctor. (Image: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images)

High blood sugar during pregnancy is referred to as gestational diabetes. This condition affects 3 to 5 percent of American pregnant woman and is associated with hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Being overweight before pregnancy, a family history of diabetes, a history of large or stillborn babies, and being older than 25 years are risk factors for gestational diabetes. Blood sugar levels usually return to normal after giving birth, and proper management of gestational diabetes helps prevent complications in both mom and baby during the pregnancy.

Step 1

Develop a meal plan. With the guidance of your obstetrician or a registered dietitian, devise a diet that is specific to you and your pregnancy. Although general guidelines for reducing blood sugar in pregnancy are typically the same, your doctor will take into consideration your overall health, your age and any other health conditions you have.

Step 2

Limit your intake of sugary snacks, drinks and foods. Candy, soda, cookies, cake and other foods that contain a lot of simple sugar can rapidly increase blood sugar levels and make gestational diabetes worse.

Step 3

Eat three or four small meals everyday with snacks in between. Eating more often prevents your blood sugar from crashing between meals.

Step 4

Reduce the amount of carbohydrates in your diet and replace them with high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Step 5

Drink a minimum of 64 oz. of fluid each day. Proper hydration is necessary to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent pregnancy complications.

Step 6

Engage in regular, light activity, with your doctor's permission. Activities such as walking and swimming can help keep blood sugar levels under control. Getting exercise during pregnancy also helps with weight loss after giving birth.

Step 7

Check your blood sugar levels frequently using a blood glucose meter. Most meters require you to prick your finger and then drop blood on a testing strip. The results enable you to adjust your food or medication to prevent a hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic episode.

Step 8

Test your urine for ketones if your doctor recommends doing so. Ketones occur in urine when your body is burning fat for energy. This can be harmful to your baby during pregnancy.

Step 9

Take insulin per your doctor's instructions. Your doctor will instruct you on how and when to administer insulin and will provide you with information on storing the medication to keep it safe.

Tip

Be aware of target blood glucose levels. For most women who have gestational diabetes, target levels are 95 or less upon waking, 140 or less one hour after eating, and 120 or less two hours after eating, according to Cleveland Clinic.

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