Getting to Know Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that may develop in some pregnant women. It is like the other two forms of diabetes (type 1 and type 2), where the blood sugar is higher than normal. As pregnancy progresses, a female produces more insulin blocking hormones. Since insulin functions to lower blood sugar, once that function is lost, the blood sugar rises too.
Why and How of Gestational Diabetes?
The body of a pregnant female goes through an upheaval and changing hormones is just one part of that. These changing hormones are thought to cause insulin resistance, which impairs function of insulin. A worrisome fact about gestational diabetes is that it doesn’t affect the mother alone. Rather, the baby is equally prone to a lot of dangers, like premature delivery.
Gestational diabetes is more common in women who are obese, age more than 35 years and have a strong family history of diabetes.
Eating Healthy- The Key to Cure!
If you’re a diabetic, it doesn’t mean that you’ve to give up on everything. In fact, planning your diet and eating healthy has a greater impact on gestational diabetes. Following are some nutritional tips for you:
- Divide your meals: Eating small meals three times a day with a snack or two in between is recommended.
- Be aware of what you eat: Restrict yourself from eating too much carbohydrates as it’ll worsen already raging blood sugar.
- Eat a lot of fiber: Foods rich in fibers include cereals, rice, whole-grain breads, fruits and vegetables. These foods help normalize your sugar levels.
- Drink a lot: When you’re diabetic, you’re always thirsty. Take care of that by drinking 8-10 glasses of water (plain water) per day.
- Eat dairy products: Go for low fat versions and fulfill your needs of calcium and vitamins.
- Iron: Iron is essential for the baby as it is a key component of the red blood cells (RBCs). It becomes even more important as your baby derives blood from you too. You can save yourself from anemia (decrease in blood mainly due to less iron) by eating foods rich in iron like apples, rice, poultry and lean meat.
- Vitamins: Developing babies also require essential vitamins like vitamin A and C. Eating fruits and vegetables provide babies with all of these.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol has been found to have many adverse effects on the baby such as low birth weight. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you abstain from it.