Gestational diabetes can often be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, some women may need medication (metformin) and/or insulin injections to help manage gestational diabetes. Dr Pradeep Gadge, diabetologist, Gadge Diabetes Centre says, “To manage gestational diabetes the patient needs to eat three regular meals and two to three snacks each day. Have one of the snacks at night. A dietitian can help you create a healthy meal plan. Exercise is another way to keep blood sugar under control. It helps to balance food intake. Exercising Regular exercise allows your body to use glucose without extra insulin. This helps combat insulin resistance and is what makes exercise helpful to people with diabetes.”
Never start an exercise program without checking with your doctor first. After checking with your doctor, you can
exercise regularly during and after pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about activities that are safe during pregnancy, like walking, yoga or any other physical activity. “Because pregnancy causes the body’s need for energy to change, blood sugar levels can get fluctuate. It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels at home to check that the management of gestational diabetes is keeping your blood glucose levels within the target range. This is to ensure appropriate treatment can be administered and changed as necessary by your doctor,” Dr Pradeep says.
Managing gestational diabetes includes following a healthy eating plan and being physically active. If your eating plan and physical activity aren’t enough to keep your blood glucose in your target range, you may need insulin or medicine. After the baby is born, gestational diabetes usually disappears. “A blood glucose test (Oral Glucose Tolerance Test) (OGTT) should be performed six weeks after delivery to ensure that blood glucose levels have returned to normal. However, women who have had gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and should be tested for diabetes at least every 2 – 3 years,” Dr Pradeep says.
Blood sugar usually returns to normal soon after delivery. But if you have had gestational diabetes, you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. Controlling blood sugar can prevent a difficult birth and keep you and your baby
healthy. It is always recommendable to see a doctor before trying to get pregnant so that your doctor can evaluate your risk of gestational diabetes as part of your overall childbearing wellness plan. Once you are pregnant, your doctor will check you for gestational diabetes as part of your prenatal care. Women can lower the chance of getting gestational diabetes by losing extra weight before they get pregnant if they are overweight. Being physically active before and during pregnancy also may help prevent gestational diabetes. Eat healthily. Limit saturated fat. Eat plenty of vegetables, legumes, fruits, wholegrain.