treatment for gestational diabetes The goals of treatment are to keep blood sugar (glucose) levels within normal limits during pregnancy and to ensure that the growing baby is healthy.
LOOKING AT YOUR BABY
Your health care provider should closely monitor you and your baby throughout your pregnancy. Fetal monitoring will verify the size and health of the fetus. ◄ SUBSCRIBE TO US ► —-
A stress-free test is a very simple and painless test for you and your baby.
A machine that listens and shows your baby's heartbeat (electronic fetal monitor) is placed on your abdomen.
Your health care provider can compare your baby's heartbeat pattern with movements and find out if the baby is doing well.
DIET AND EXERCISE
The best way to improve your diet is by eating a variety of healthy foods. You must learn to read food labels and verify them when making food decisions. Talk to your doctor or nutritionist if you are a vegetarian or have any other special diet.
In general, when you have gestational diabetes your diet should:
Be moderate in fat and protein
Provide your carbohydrates through foods that include fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates (such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice)
Have low levels of foods that contain a lot of sugar, such as soft drinks, fruit juices and cakes
If managing your diet does not control blood sugar (glucose) levels, you may be prescribed medications for diabetes by mouth or insulin therapy.
Most women who develop gestational diabetes will not need diabetes medications or insulin, but some will.
Most women with gestational diabetes can control their blood sugar level and prevent harm to themselves or their baby.
Pregnant women with gestational diabetes tend to have larger babies at birth. This can increase the chances of problems at the time of delivery, which include:
Birth injury (trauma) due to the large size of the baby
Your baby is more likely to have periods of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during the first days of life.
Mothers with gestational diabetes have an increased risk of high blood pressure during pregnancy.
There is a slightly higher risk of the baby dying when the mother has not received treatment for gestational diabetes. Controlling blood sugar levels reduces this risk.
High blood sugar (glucose) levels often return to normal after delivery. However, women with gestational diabetes should be monitored closely after delivery and at regular doctor appointments for signs of diabetes. Many women with gestational diabetes develop diabetes within 5 to 10 years after delivery.
When to contact a medical professional
Call your health care provider if you are pregnant and have symptoms of diabetes.
Starting early prenatal care and having regular prenatal visits helps improve your and your baby's health. Having prenatal exams at 24 – 28 weeks of pregnancy will help detect early gestational diabetes.
If you are overweight, decreasing your body mass index (BMI) to a normal range before becoming pregnant will decrease your risk of developing gestational diabetes.
Video credits to Childbirth Classes YouTube channel