Throughout pregnancy, women undergo a variety of screening tests for their own health and the health of their unborn children. One of the most common tests is for gestational diabetes. If a screening test comes back positive for gestational diabetes, then a woman will see a diabetes specialist for a glucose challenge.
If this test is also positive, then the woman is diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Once a diagnosis is made, dietary changes must be made in order to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Some gynaecologists and obstetricians are able to provide patients with nutritional counselling for gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If your physician does not provide this service, then you may seek a dietitian or nutritional counsellor for professional assistance. A dietitian can help you to create meal plans and balance your intake of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The dietitian can also calculate how many calories you need in order to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Healthy Dietary Intake
Your nutrition is important even if you do not have gestational diabetes. For those diagnosed with this health condition though, a healthy dietary intake is critical. You may need to eat small meals that consist of a certain number of grams of carbohydrates and proteins. Eating every 3 hours instead of every 6 hours can help to balance your metabolism.
Pairing the carbohydrates with proteins avoids sugar spikes that can impact the growth of your baby. A healthy dietary intake also helps you to avoid excessive weight gain and other complications, such as a large baby. You can always seek help from a Perth diabetes specialist, such as HealthMed Lifestyle Clinic, regarding an ideal gestational diabetes diet.
Exercise and Physical Activity
So long as your obstetrician agrees, you should be able to enjoy a moderate level of exercise and physical activity throughout your pregnancy. Having gestational diabetes may mean that you need to wear compression stockings or limit the intensity or duration of your physical activity.
Exercises such as prenatal yoga, swimming and walking are ideal for pregnant women, as they are low impact and help you to retain the muscle strength needed to give birth. Regular exercise can also help to minimize pregnancy pains like backaches and carpal tunnel.
Gestational Diabetes Diet Regulations and Menu Plan, What to Expect
Choosing What, How Much, and When to Eat, American Diabetes Association