Diabetes has become a more common disease within recent years, and most of us are familiar with the two different types of diabetes –Type 1 and Type 2. However, did you also know that there is a third type of diabetes that specifically affects pregnant women?
Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy. Because of the changes that happen in your body during pregnancy, your blood sugar can become too high, which results in developing gestational diabetes, and sometimes permanently acquiring Type 2 diabetes after pregnancy.
However, there are steps you can take to avoid developing gestational diabetes. It’s important to take these preventative measures not only for your health and safety, but for your baby as well.
- Check your blood sugar- Since high blood sugar levels are the culprit behind gestational diabetes, it’s best to talk to your physician about glucose screening and intolerance tests. Most healthcare providers recommend a glucose screening test (also called a glucose challenge test or GCT) between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
- Eat well- Choose foods that are high in fiber and low in fat. Focus on fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Talk to your physician or OBGYN about some of the best foods to eat while pregnant.
- Exercise- High-impact intense activities are not the way to go while pregnant. Try some of these low-impact exercises and be sure to speak with your doctor about what is best for you.
- Maintain a healthy weight- Staying at a healthy weight before you conceive and during your pregnancy is vital to avoiding not only gestational diabetes, but other pregnancy-related issues as well.
- Avoid medicines that increase insulin resistance- Since insulin is the hormone that controls the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood, insulin resistant medications can result in blood sugar levels becoming abnormally high.
- Know your risk factors- Recognize that age, ethnicity, weight, and family history can affect your potential to develop gestational diabetes.