In more than 120 countries, the first week of August is considered as breastfeeding week. You must be wondering why are we talking about that? Breastfeeding, Pregnancy, what does that have to do with Diabetes?
A lot of you know about type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. These terms are usually used a lot in our daily lives. However, what about gestational diabetes? Have you heard of it ? Is it important as much as the others?
Gestational diabetes is defined as the spike in blood glucose levels in pregnant women. To make sure that a pregnant women is diagnosed with gestational diabetes and not other types of diabetes, the women should be healthy pre-gestation.
Are you wondering who are the women at risk? 7% to 9% of women do experience gestational diabetes at least once during their pregnancies. Any women can develop and experience gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Nonetheless, there are some factors that increase the risk of it actually happening such as having a body mass index greater than 30, a previous baby born more than or equal to 4.5 kg, previous gestational diabetes, and family members with diabetes.
Sometimes, gestational diabetes can happen without noticing it. The symptoms you might experience is very similar to what happens while being pregnant such as increased thirst, dry mouth, tiredness and needing to urinate more often than usual. For that specific reason ,and in between 8 to 12 weeks of gestation, a women should undergo an oral glucose tolerance test ( OGTT) to make sure that she’s healthy or developing gestational diabetes. If unnoticed, gestational diabetes might develop some serious risks for the infant such as premature baby, over weight baby, pre-eclampsia, jaundice at birth and rarely stillbirth.
When the diagnosis is certain, the first thing you need to do is to consult your doctor for the medications and their doses. Second, visit your dietitian for carbohydrate and meals planning.
The following tips will help you in planning safe meals :
1- Eat frequent meals, which means have 3 meals with 2 snack in order to keep your blood sugar stable and avoiding any spikes or lows.
2- Eat measured quantity of carbohydrates and have them separated fairly between meals.
3- Be careful from your fruits portion. Do not overeat fruits and don’t mix them together. Make sure to eat fibers with your fruits to help in avoiding blood glucose spikes.
4- Breakfast actually matters! This is one important meal in your day that should include a mix of carbohydrates and proteins to make sure that your post-breakfast blood glucose isn’t that high. Try not to have a starchy breakfast such as milk and cereals.
To take care of your baby, you need to take care of yourself first! If you are pregnant make sure that you are tested for gestational diabetes to take the right precautions with your doctor, midwife and dietitian.
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