Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan-How to Get Started

Gestational diabetes refers to a case where diabetes is recognized during pregnancy. It is common to about 7% of all pregnancies. The diabetes arises during the second half of the pregnancy and goes way after the baby is born. The diabetes may have further complications if not treated during pregnancy.

Chances of Getting Gestational Diabetes

The chances of getting gestational diabetes are greater if one is overweight, if she had gestational diabetes before, if you have a relative(parent, brother, and sister with type 2 diabetes), if one has ever given birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds, and she is an American Indian, African American, a Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic/Latina.

How Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan Works

gestational diabetes diet meal planModifying the diet is the first step that a mother that has the disease should emulate towards when treating the condition. This is essential in maintaining the blood sugar level at a normal range while still taking a healthy diet. Gestational diabetes diet meal plan is done by monitoring the amount of carbohydrates in the diet. This is because carbohydrates are digested to produce glucose, a core factor in fueling the body and nourishing the developing fetus. However, the glucose levels must be controlled so that they stay at a level that is within target.

The following measures should be taken in order to keep glucose levels in control:

Plan the Meals-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

One can maintain blood sugar levels by eating 3 regular meals in a day and 2 to 4 snacks thorough the day. The meals and the snacks must be balanced and more so in the amount of carbohydrates and calories they contain.

Eat a Good Breakfast-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

One must ensure that she eats a good breakfast because the levels of glucose are usually unstable in the morning. However, one must limit carbohydrate and fruit juice intake and eat proteins instead.

Increase Your Fiber Intake-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

This should include vegetables, beans, peas, legumes and whole grain breads should make up a large portion of your diet.

Limit Your Milk and Sugary Beverage Intake-gestational diabetes diet meal plan

Usually, milk has high lactose (simple sugar) content and must thus be limited to all the mothers that are working to manage gestational diabetes. One should look for additional sources of calcium and additionally avoid fruit juices and soda because they contain a high level of glucose.

Effects of a gestational diabetes meal plan on the child

Glucose crosses the placenta from mother to baby to meet the energy needs of the developing baby. If mother’s blood glucose levels are raised, a greater amount of glucose crosses the placenta to the baby. To manage this extra amount of glucose, the baby produces more insulin. This can cause excessive growth and fat in the baby. If mom’s blood glucose levels continue raised, the baby size may be larger than normal. Following delivery, the baby might experience low blood glucose levels, mostly if the mother’s blood glucose levels were higher before the birth. Gestational diabetes can be monitored and treated with a gestational diabetes diet meal plan and if well controlled, the risks are greatly reduced.

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What Will My Baby Weigh With Gestational Diabetes?- Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Because gestational diabetes is a condition affecting pregnant women, this condition can also affect the babies of these women. As such, this might pose several complications for the baby, including increased birth weight, labor difficulties, hypoglycemia after birth, and risk for developing diabetes later on in life.

“Big” Baby-Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Remember that glucose can cross the placental barrier, and too much glucose can make your baby fat. One of the complications that babies can have if gestational diabetes remains uncontrolled is macrosomia or a big baby. Macrosomia is defined as having a birth weight of 4500 grams or more. That translates to a weight of 9 pounds and 14 ounces, when the normal birth weight is only around 3400 grams.

Baby Weight With Gestational DiabetesAs a result of the weight of the baby, this might further lead to several complications. If the baby achieves this weight at around the seventh week of pregnancy, this might prompt obstetricians to deliver the baby prematurely since staying in the womb for a longer period of time poses some danger to the mother, such as possible uterine rupture. The baby will then have to be placed inside an incubator since his lung surfactants have not yet fully matured. Baby weight with gestational diabetes is directly related to blood sugar control in the mother.

If the baby reaches full term, the huge birth weight can still pose a problem on labor and delivery. Labor may be difficult since the baby will probably not be able to pass through the vaginal canal. Hence, Caesarean section would be recommended. If the mother pushes through with normal spontaneous delivery, there is a risk for the baby to have shoulder dystocia or shoulder fracture. Usually, the baby’s head is the biggest part of his body. However, for macrosomic babies, the shoulders become wider than the head, thus not being able to pass through swiftly into the birth canal. Although the shoulder fracture can easily heal because the babes bones are still soft and not yet fully formed, improper alignment can lead to bone defects as the baby grows older.

Other Complications-Baby Weight With Gestational Diabetes

Aside from possible injuries during delivery, the baby can also suffer from hypoglycemia immediately after delivery. The baby has gotten used to high glucose levels inside the womb. As a result, his pancreas responds by producing high levels of insulin to use up all the glucose coming from the mother. When the baby is born, the pancreas will still continue to produce high amounts of insulin as it still takes some time to get used to the outside environment. As a result, the baby can suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar during his first few days of life. This should be carefully monitored by health care providers.

Studies also show that babies borne out of gestational diabetic mothers have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus later on in life. However, if you control your blood sugar properly during pregnancy, this risk could be lessened. Therefore, proper treatment and control of gestational diabetes is very important.

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Healthy Eating Out at Restaurants For Gestational Diabetes Moms

Wondering What You Should Do When Eating Out?

English: McDonald's Restaurant, Bermuda Park A...

Having gestational diabetes is not the end of the world for a pregnant woman. In fact, you can still enjoy much of the foods that you normally eat, but always in moderation. That being said, eating out at restaurants is not a total no-no for you, as it still remains one of your options. In fact, the choices that you have for eating out can still be the same choices that you have at home. As with eating at home, remember that you also need to have a balanced diet once you decide to dine out. Here are some guidelines that you need to remember to still keep healthy while eating out at restaurants:

  • Select the “right” restaurant. Before you go to whatever restaurant to eat out, you can research their menu beforehand so that you know what kinds of food to expect. Choose restaurant that have healthy food options, such as those with low fat and low sugar content. In fact, some restaurant websites contain nutritional and caloric information about their foods, so you can already plan what to eat even before you step into the restaurant. If such information is not available, you can instead opt for a restaurant where you can ask the chef to prepare low fat food for you.
  • Be mindful of the servings. There are some restaurants that offer large meal portions, so you need to control how much you eat by opting for smaller servings. You can also share with your partner if there are jumbo servings. Avoid supersizing your meals since this can lead to an exacerbation of gestational diabetes symptoms.
  • Avoid the freebies. Oftentimes, restaurants serve free bread, crackers, or chips while you are waiting for your meal. You can already skip these appetizers, especially since they are usually full of calories that will further increase your blood sugar levels. If you really want to have an appetizer, a safe choice would be a vegetable salad.
  • Use gravy and dressings sparingly. Both salad dressings and meat gravy are very high in fats, so you should not pour these over your meals like there’s no tomorrow. Instead, ask the waiter to serve it on the side so that you can control how much gravy or dressing you put into your food. If there is any low-fat dressing, that would be a good choice.
  • Substitute unhealthy foods with healthy ones. You can request from the chef or the waiter that instead of giving you fries as sides, they can just serve you garden salad instead. You can also substitute hash browns with fresh fruits.
  • Take note of what you drink. Your blood sugar levels might rise with sodas, fruit juices, shakes, tea, and coffee. While it is best to just drink plenty of water, you can still indulge in other drinks, provided that you only consume a little amount of those drinks.
  • Avoid fried foods. Remember that an average fast food restaurant serves food that have a lot of calories, fats, and salt, since the way that they cooked their food was almost always deep fried. Instead of eating fried foods, opt for baked or grilled foods instead.

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