Why Should I Care if I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Why Should I Care if I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Since gestational diabetes only occurs to pregnant women, most women have no idea what this means. Although many are familiar with what diabetes is in general, they do not know what to expect when it comes to gestational diabetes. Questions plague the mind of a woman who is newly-diagnosed with gestational diabetes: Is it the same as the common type 2 diabetes? What are its effects on me and my baby? Should I be alarmed? Should I even care? The answer to the last question is very simple: Yes, you should care. Just like any other types of diseases, you should take some precautionary measures if you are diagnosed with this condition. In order to help you understand the gravity to the situation, here are some information on what gestational diabetes is.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that manifests only during pregnancy. Just like the more commonly known diabetes type 2, gestational diabetes involves an increase in blood glucose or sugar levels. This is because the body cannot produce adequate amounts of insulin to match the glucose intake of the pregnant woman, since a pregnant woman’s insulin needs is multiplied to two or three times the normal insulin requirement. Moreover, a pregnant woman releases certain hormones that antagonize the action of insulin. Hence, control of blood sugar is important for women with gestational diabetes.

What are the effects of gestational diabetes?

So what if you have gestational diabetes? Remember that since you are carrying a child in your womb, this means that the effects of gestational diabetes might not only manifest on you, but also on your child. Glucose can cross the placental barrier since this is the main source of nutrients for your growing fetus. The child of a mother with gestational diabetes tends to be larger in size because of the amount of glucose that they get. This can pose some problems during delivery. If the baby is already too large before it becomes term, this might prompt the doctor to deliver the baby prematurely. If the baby reaches full term, s/he may be delivered via Caesarean section because s/he cannot fit inside the birth canal. Normal spontaneous delivery might injure the baby. Moreover, your baby can have periods of hypoglycemia during his/her first few days since his/her pancreas have gotten used to producing large amounts of insulin while still in the womb.

You can become affected as well. Those who have gestational diabetes have higher risks of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy because of the thick consistency of the blood. Hypertension during pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia, is a life-threatening condition for both the mother and the baby.

Based on the aforementioned effects, pregnant women should definitely care about their condition. Controlling blood sugar levels is of utmost importance to prevent any unwanted incidents. That being said, proper diet that is low in sugar and enough exercise should be practiced by women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you want to learn more about the dietary recommendations for gestational diabetes and other related information, sign up for our newsletter.

Some Good Ways to Celebrate Spring with Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Celebrating Spring

Gestational DiabetesNow that springtime is just around the corner, you might be wondering what activities you can do for this season. Remember, having gestational diabetes does not limit you to the things that you can do. There are still a lot of ways to enjoy this springtime, whether it be in terms of what you eat or what you do. In fact, this is the best time to fine tune your diabetes management plan because your mood is also probably at its best. Don’t be a bummer during springtime and indulge in the following activities and rejuvenating changes while the spirit of the season is still within you:

  • Take care of your feet. When you have any kind of diabetes, including gestational diabetes, your feet need to be showered with extra care to avoid developing diabetic feet. Spring is the best time to pamper your feet with a warm water soak that should not last for more than three minutes to avoid causing macerated skin. Also apply lotion to dry skin, but make sure that you do not leave moist areas, especially the area between your toes. Although you cannot indulge in a full-blown pedicure while you have gestational diabetes, you can still color your nails to get that springtime feeling.
  • Get out and walk. There is no better season to get out of the comfort of your own home and walk around your neighborhood than spring. The benefits of walking have been enumerated innumerable times already, and even if you are pregnant, this is still a great exercise for you. You can start by walking 20 minutes per day for at least three days per week. Just walk at the pace that your body is comfortable with. As your body gets used to the exercise, you can gradually increase your time and pace. Just make sure that you rest every few minutes, especially if you feel out of breath.
  • Eat fresh and keep hydrated. Springtime is also the season of lots of fresh fruits of vegetables that you can certainly indulge in. You can try a lot of unfamiliar fruits and veggies which contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for you and for your baby. Just make sure that you watch the glucose content of what you eat. As for the hydration, good old water is still the best drink for you. You have to increase your water intake especially once the temperature starts to climb. Drinking eight glasses per day is good for women with gestational diabetes.
  • Volunteer for gestational diabetes. The best gift that you can give to other women suffering from gestational diabetes is your support. Make a difference by joining advocacy groups and sharing your experiences as someone with gestational diabetes. Not only will you learn a lot from these groups, but you will also be able to benefit them from your experiences and coping methods. Empowering other women with gestational diabetes will help them cope with their conditions.

You can learn more about gestational diabetes and the activities that you can do through signing up for our newsletter.  Looking for a gestational diabetes diet meal plan then look no further, Buy my book on Amazon.  A complete gestational diabetes meal plan and recipes!

Green Things Are Healthy for You On St. Patrick’s Day-Gestational Diabetes

If there is any time of the year that pushes you to go green, that would be St. Patrick’s Day. There is no other time of the year best fit for you to enjoy eating healthy green foods other than St. Patrick’s Day. This especially goes out to all those with gestational diabetes, since eating green means also eating healthy. It is more than just the color of the foods that you eat; it also means the nutritional content of the food that makes it “green”. Here are seven great green dishes and delicacies for you to try during St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Lime yogurt pie – In order to do this, you need to use some fat-free cream cheese and low-fat or light yogurt. The fresh lime juice content will also add a tangy flavor to this sweet treat. This is the perfect dessert for those who want to indulge in something sweet yet healthy this St. Patrick’s Day.
  • Protein shamrock shake – Sweet treats don’t have to be a guilty pleasure for you as this shake only contains 8 grams of carbohydrates and 30 grams of protein. Just make sure that you use low-fat cottage cheese and protein powder. Add mint flavoring to your shake for a cool effect in your mouth.
  • Vegetable burger – The difference between the veggie burger and the regular burger is that the latter contains lots of fats, while the former contains hardly any fats. For women with gestational diabetes, a mixture of chick peas, spinach, cucumber slices, lettuce leaves, avocado halves, and tomato slices make up a good vegetable burger.
  • Garlicky kale salad – Only containing 7 grams of carbohydrates, a bowl of kale can be converted into a healthy and delicious salad just by adding apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Aside from being low in carbohydrates, it is also low in calories and high in fiber and antioxidants, making it a pretty great meal for women with gestational diabetes.
  • Zucchini cakes – With only 63 calories, there is no doubt that zucchini cakes are healthy treats for those with gestational diabetes. Although it is a cake, it only contains 1.1 grams of sugar, so this can be a nutritious dessert which you can enjoy in several servings.
  • Green detox soup – This green-colored soup is made from a mixture of different vegetables and fruits such as avocado, broccoli, onions, and lemon juice. The ingredients are also known to be good antioxidants, and that means that this food is packed with a lot of nutritional benefits.
  • Green chili chicken – You can get a lot of protein from this delicious soup, since it contains 54.6 grams of protein. Aside from chicken, the soup contains a variety of vegetables such as red pepper, garlic, cumin, and cilantro, which makes it green and healthy. The additional jalapeno and green chiles give a spicy kick to this tasty dish.

Although the aforementioned dishes are great for St. Patrick’s Day, remember that this is not the only day for you to eat healthy. You can learn about more nutritional dishes for gestational diabetes if you sign up for our newsletter.  If you are in need of a diet meal plan for gestational diabetes meal plan.  This is a complete meal plan and recipes, it written by Mathea Ford RD/LD, find it on Amazon below.

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.

gestational diabetes meal plan pdf