Regulating Blood Sugar with Gestational Diabetes
Gestational diabetes is caused by hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Increased hormone production interferes with the ability of insulin to manage glucose levels. Most times the mother’s pancreas can produce more insulin to reduce blood sugar levels, but if the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin blood sugar will rise and it will result in gestational diabetes. There are several risk factors for gestational diabetes: 25 years of age or older, a family history of diabetes, being overweight prior to becoming pregnant, and previously giving birth to a baby over nine pounds.
Keeping your blood sugars regulated during your pregnancy is healthy for both you and your baby. Diet plays an important part in this. First I recommend having three small meals and two or three snacks spaced all throughout the day. Try to include foods that are high in fiber with these meals. I suggest checking labels and choosing foods with a minimum of 3 grams of fiber per serving. Choose whole wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, bran cereal, fruits and vegetables, etc. By spacing meals and snacks you will be able to feel satisfied and it can prevent you from overeating at a later meal. It may be helpful to include a protein source at most meals. This includes lean meats, peanut butter, nuts/seeds, eggs, and low fat dairy products. Be sure to limit the amount of simple sugar that you are consuming each day. Do a diet inventory. As you review what you typically eat and drink, look for and remove the simple sugars such as regular soda, fruit punch, hard candy, chocolate/candy bars, ice cream, cookies/cake. Replace these food items with healthy foods/beverages such as low sugar juice (Healthy Balance), fresh fruit, low sugar yogurt, and dried fruit. Try to increase the amount of water you are drinking per day as well. Exercise can also help you manage blood sugar levels (as allowed by your physician). However, be sure to carry glucose tablets or fruit juice with you in case of a low blood sugar reaction.Login to Favorite