By Dr.Vian Nguyen, Director of OB-GYN Services
Gestational diabetes is a condition where pregnant woman cannot produce enough hormones (insulin) to control their blood sugars. About 2-10 percent of women will develop this condition during their pregnancy. If it’s uncontrolled, it can lead to complications; so, it’s important to know how to manage it.
Depending on the levels of your sugars, your doctor may start you on a daily medication, but it can be largely controlled with a change in diet and exercise. Follow these tips to control your gestational diabetes:
1. Eat three medium-size meals and 2-3 small snacks, daily.
2. Eat whole grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice, whole grain breads and pastas. White rice, breads and pastas turn into sugar when digested — avoid them.
3. Cut sugary foods. No desserts, candy or fruit juices, which are high in sugar.
4. Fill up on fresh vegetables and fruits, at least 3-4 times a day.
5. Exercise for about 30 minutes a day, for five times a week. A brisk walk, or light aerobics class is OK, if you’re doctor says so.
6. For a snack, try a piece of whole grain toast with sugar-free peanut butter, a side salad or an apple with low-fat cottage cheese.
7. Test your blood sugar levels at home on a regular basis. Your doctor’s office can show you how.
Screenings for gestational diabetes occur between 24-48 weeks of pregnancy, or earlier if you have certain risk factors. So it’s important to make it to each of your prenatal visits to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Your baby’s depending on you.