Gestational diabetes is a condition that develops only during pregnancy. Your blood sugar level rises due to hormonal changes during the second or the last trimesters of pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes can cause complications to both the mother and the baby if proper care is not taken. But in most cases, it can be avoided or reduce the risk by making some lifestyle changes.
How to prevent it?
Although one cannot avoid gestational diabetes, pregnant women can lower their chances of developing it by taking some steps.
Have a balanced diet
It is good to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy. Your diet should contain foods rich in a variety of nutrients – which should comprise 25% protein, 25% starch, and 50% non-starch items.
Protein-rich foods include pulses, beans, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu, etc. And some of the starchy foods are bread, rice, pasta, cereals, potatoes, milk, yogurt, and other sweets.
Make sure to eat foods that contain complex carbohydrates. These foods contain high fiber content; they will help raise blood sugar levels steadily. Whole grains like brown rice, millets, oatmeal, etc., are some foods that contain complex carbs.
Try to limit eating foods that contain simple carbs. They may cause a sudden spike in blood glucose levels.
And also, make green leafy vegetables a part of your daily diet. They are packed with loads of vitamins and minerals.
Do regular exercise
If you do not like working out, you can try walking. Walking is a great exercise that requires no stretching, but it shows results if you walk for about an hour a day.
Other household activities also contribute to some extent as exercising. Although physical strain is not recommended during pregnancy, choose those household chores which are safe to do.
You can also try yoga if your doctor allows you to. Yoga helps a lot to stretch your body. It can also help you to reduce joint pains.
You can also do other exercises like cycling or swimming. But take your health care provider’s advice before doing any exercise.
Gestational diabetes may occur to those people who are:
- Family history of having gestational diabetes
- Had given birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds in the past
- Having pre-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure, PCOD (polycystic ovarian syndrome), etc.
If you suffer from any of the above-stated problems, you have to undergo a test for gestational diabetes. You have to be honest with your doctor so that they may help you to avoid it.
Gestational diabetes can be diagnosed with a blood test. Glucose challenge test and oral glucose tolerance test are two types of tests to diagnose gestational diabetes.
Anybody can develop gestational diabetes. But certain factors may make you more vulnerable to developing gestational diabetes.
But making some changes in your lifestyle like eating healthy, regular exercise, regular checkups may reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes in the last trimesters of pregnancy.