Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only occurs during a woman’s pregnancy. When a woman is pregnant, the body changes the distribution of oxygen and nutrients – one of those being glucose. Hormones within the placenta trigger a buildup of excess sugar in the bloodstream. If the body’s insulin production does not accommodate the extra sugar, a woman’s blood sugar level will continue to rise. This condition can cause severe risks to both the mother and growing baby.
The scariest thing about gestational diabetes is that there are typically no noticeable symptoms for the condition. This is why during the second trimester, typically between 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, a routine glucose test will be done by all OB-GYN practices. The test is simple: you will drink a prepackaged beverage with an extremely high sugar content, and after a specified amount of time, your blood will be drawn to measure the glucose levels. If your test results reveal that your blood sugar level is too high, you will need to be closely monitored throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Managing Gestational Diabetes
While receiving any high-risk diagnosis during pregnancy can seem scary, gestational diabetes is a condition that can be monitored. Gestational diabetes will require you to monitor your blood sugar closely and control your condition through diet and exercise. A healthy diet during pregnancy closely mirrors a healthy diet in any stage of life. A healthy diet focuses on whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables – foods that are high in nutrition and fiber and low in fat and calories. For women who have gestational diabetes, they will need to limit refined carbohydrates and sweets significantly.
A healthy lifestyle also includes physical activity. Exercise plays a vital role in every woman’s wellness plan – before, during, and after pregnancy. Exercise lowers the body’s blood sugar level, offsetting the effects of gestational diabetes. Most women should get 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days a week. Women who were not active before pregnancy should start slowly and build up to walking for 30 minutes most days.
We Are Here For You
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it does not mean that you should be scared. The entire team at Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. is committed to providing excellent care to expecting mothers and their growing babies. To schedule an appointment with one of our providers, please contact Marietta OB-GYN Affiliates, P.A. today.
We look forward to caring for you during this very special time in your life.