For your sake, and that of your baby’s, control your weight, blood sugar

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For your sake, and that of your baby’s, control your weight, blood sugar

Post by Admin on Sat Apr 07, 2018 3:33 pm

During pregnancy, the way your body uses insulin changes. Insulin breaks the foods you eat down into glucose, or sugar. You then use that glucose for energy. You’ll naturally become more resistant to insulin when you’re pregnant to help provide your baby with more glucose.

In some women, the process goes wrong and your body either stops responding to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin to give you the glucose you need. That’s what causes gestational diabetes.

Women who are at higher risk for gestational diabetes:

▪️ Were overweight before pregnancy
▪️ Have a family member with diabetes

▪️ Are 25 or older

▪️ Had gestational diabetes in an earlier pregnancy

▪️ Had a large baby (9 pounds or larger) or a stillbirth

▪️ Have had abnormal blood sugar tests before pregnancy, or

▪️ Are hispanic, black, native American, Asian American, or Pacific Islander

Controlling your weight and blood sugar before pregnancy will give you and your baby a healthy start. It’s much easier to achieve a healthy weight when your body isn’t supporting two people. Eat protein with every meal. Include daily fruits and vegetables. Thirty percent or less of your diet should be made up of fat. Think high-fiber, low-fat options (whole grains, low-fat dairy, meat, legumes and fish).

Dr. Allison Cook - 2017
Allison Cook
Check out ChooseMyPlate.gov for information on eating from each food group and what constitutes a portion. Limit or avoid processed foods and drinks. Don’t forget to drink water and avoid juice and soft drinks.

Exercise under your doctor’s or midwife’s supervision. A 30-minute walk each day allows your body to burn glucose even without the insulin your body should normally produce. It’s a great way to keep your blood sugars in check. Start out at 15 minutes if you need to — just start moving.

Make sure you attend all your scheduled prenatal visits. Around weeks 24-28, you will be screened for gestational diabetes. If you do have gestational diabetes, your provider will work with you and an endocrinologist to help give you and your baby the healthiest start possible.

There is a very good chance that your diabetes will go away immediately after the delivery. This is especially true if your diabetes was controlled with only diet and exercise during pregnancy. You should continue to check your blood glucose as directed by your provider until all symptoms are gone.

However, having gestational diabetes puts you at great risk of type 2 diabetes after your pregnancy so follow the same healthy diet and exercise plan.

Getting back to a healthy weight will also lower your risk. You will also have more energy to keep up with your new baby.

Dr. Allison Cook, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Lexington Women’s Health, delivers babies at Baptist Health Lexington.
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