What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes?

Recommended Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes

It goes without saying that women who have gestational diabetes (GDM) should control their blood sugar levels. Just like other types of diabetes, the main problem in GDM is that the spiking blood glucose levels might cause problems for the pregnant mom. In order to keep the sugar under control, there are certain measures that every mom-to-be should know, especially the ones who are suffering from GDM. One of these measures is knowing how to take glucose levels in the blood, and this can be accomplished in a number of ways.  With gestational diabetes, you may have to do a blood sugar test up to 4 times per day.

blood sugar levels for gestational diabetes

Taking Blood Sugar Levels For Gestational Diabetes

There are several ways to determine the blood sugar levels of an individual. One of the most common is fasting blood sugar, more popularly known as FBS. This test is used to diagnose a person with in the diabetes or even pre-diabetes stage.  Eight hours of fasting is needed prior to this test to yield accurate results.

Another way of measuring glucose is through RBS or random blood sugar testing. As the name implies, this test is taken regardless of the last time you ate. This may be taken several times throughout the day, and is very useful for comparing values. Usually, healthy people do not have wide variations when it comes to blood sugar levels throughout the day, so those with noticeable fluctuations might be indicative of a problem. However, this is not a specific test for diagnosing diabetes.

The most common way of diagnosing GDM is through the oral glucose tolerance test or OGTT. In here, the woman is asked to drink a glass of a glucose-containing liquid. Afterwards, her blood sample will be taken to determine whether she has GDM or not. Once the woman is diagnosed with GDM, she might be asked to monitor her glucose levels throughout pregnancy through a glucometer and glucose strip, which should be taken at least two hours after meals.

Recommended Glucose Levels

In every glucose test, there is a corresponding glucose level that is deemed to be normal. Anything over that can strengthen the proof or even diagnose a pregnant woman with GDM. For example, in FBS, a glucose level of more than or equal to 95 mg/dl is already considered to be diabetic. This level can already be detrimental to the health of both the mother and the baby. If the glucose levels are tested one hour post-prandial or after eating, a value of more than or equal to 130 mg/dl is indicative of a glucose absorption problem. Two hours after eating, a pregnant woman should have less than 120 mg/dl in order to be considered healthy.

However, it is important to remember that a very low glucose level of less than 60 mg/dl is indicative of hypoglycemia, and can cause hunger, dizziness, confusion, and weakness.

Keeping a Food Log

If you are diagnosed with GDM, it is essential to keep a food log so that you know which foods increase your blood sugar levels, and which ones only do so minimally. Aside from that, you should also take note of your portion size, especially for foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.

Even getting a great book on meal planning will help.  Be sure to consult your nutritionist regarding a diet plan to keep your glucose levels in check.

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Fitting Sweets into Your Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan-Fitting In Sweets

Just like the people afflicted with the more common type 2 diabetes mellitus, women suffering from gestational diabetes should also keep a close watch on their diet. Since glucose comes from ar the food that they eat, it is important that they should take note of what they eat so that they are able keep their blood glucose levels in check. One way to do this is to make a gestational diabetes meal plan. In order to create this, you must know how much carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and sugar you need to include in your diet.

What Should You Eat?

The key to gestational diabetes meal planning is to eat a balanced diet. Remember, there is nothing that is forbidden to you – not even sweets. However, these should be eaten in moderation. That being said, it is essential to include a variety of foods in your meal plan: vegetables; fruits; milk and milk products; meat, poultry, and fish; and bread, rice, and pasta.

The last food group is full of carbohydrates, and these are the ones that are broken down into glucose and used by the body. Nevertheless, this does not mean that you should avoid eating carbohydrates altogether, since that is not an option. Carbohydrates are still needed by the body, as they are the main sources of energy for the body. What you can do is to moderate your intake of carbohydrates; that is, only consume not more than three servings for each of the main meals. It is also important to choose foods that are broken down into glucose slowly, since this helps avoid spikes in a woman’s blood glucose level. Examples of these foods are whole grain breads and plain yogurts. You can also opt to combine carbohydrates with protein-rich foods so as to balance your diet.

But What About Sweets?

gestational diabetes meal planAs for sweets, it is a generally accepted fact that these foods should be avoided because of their little to none nutritional value, and at the same time adverse effects on one’s blood sugar levels. However, it is not wise to completely obliterate sugar-rich foods in one’s diet, since sugar is also another source of energy for the body. One way to incorporate sweets into your diet is to eat a slightly lower amount of carbohydrates in a specific meal, and then allow yourself a little bit of sugar in return. You can also add sweets into your meal if the food you are eating has a low glycemic index, meaning glucose is broken down slowly. Remember, you cannot indulge in sweets, but you can have a little bit of it in your diet.

If you really have a sweet tooth and cannot seem to get enough of sweet foods, you can opt to use artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Equal. These can be used even during pregnancy, and does not have any adverse effect on the mother or the fetus. Do not forget to drink plenty of water, as it still remains the first choice of fluids for moms-to-be with gestational diabetes.

Finally, if you want to learn more about what to do with gestational diabetes, check out our book on Amazon, and sign up for our mailing list.

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