When you develop diabetes, or high blood sugar, during pregnancy, it is known as gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Some of the risk factors for developing GDM include being older than 25, a family history of diabetes, having already had a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds and being Hispanic or African-American. You may not have any symptoms, but if you do they might be blurred vision, fatigue, have frequent infections or increased thirst and urination. You may also have nausea and vomiting or unexplained weight loss. The goal of treatment is to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level and to make sure your fetus is healthy. See you doctor for regular prenatal visits during your pregnancy.
1 AnswerMultiple Sclerosis Foundation answeredUnder the Affordable Care Act, one of the women’s preventive services that is covered without cost-sharing requirements includes gestational diabetes screening. This screening is for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes. It will help improve the health of mothers and babies because women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. In addition, the children of women with gestational diabetes are at significantly increased risk of being overweight and insulinresistant throughout childhood.
1 AnswerRonald Tamler, MD, Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, answered on behalf of The Mount Sinai Health System
Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes increases your lifelong risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In this video, Ronald Tamler, MD, clinical director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, discusses gestational diabetes.
1 AnswerIf you have gestational diabetes, call your doctor or midwife if you develop any of the symptoms of high blood sugar listed below.
Symptoms of high blood sugar. These include:
- Excess thirst
- A frequent need to urinate (pee)
- Confusion or dizziness
- Feeling shaky
- Sudden hunger
- Sweating not explained by exercise
1 AnswerIf you have gestational diabetes, your doctor or midwife may suggest tests to evaluate your baby's health during the pregnancy. Examples include:
- Baby kick count: keeping track of the baby's movements
- Nonstress test: monitoring fetal heart rate over a short period of time
- Ultrasound: creating an image of the fetus
1 AnswerIf you have gestational diabetes, you need to eat a healthy balanced diet containing the following food groups:
Starches: These are good sources of minerals, B vitamins and fiber. To get the most good from these foods:
- Make most of your grains whole grains, like whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice.
- Eat more peas and beans.
- Choose low-fat, low-salt, and low-sugar starches.
- Eat the edible peelings of fruits to get the most fiber.
- Choose fruits without added sugar, sweeteners, or syrups.
- Always choose nonfat or low-fat milk and yogurt.
- Choose unsweetened milk, soymilk, and yogurt -- or versions flavored with artificial sweetener.
- Drink lactose-free versions if you need to.
- Eat fresh or frozen vegetables more often than canned vegetables.
- Buy and prepare vegetables without sauces, fats, or salt.
- Eat more dark green, orange, and yellow vegetables.
- Eat fish more often.
- Choose lean cuts of meat and trim excess fat from poultry -- and keep servings about the size of a deck of cards.
- Choose fat-free or low-fat cheese.
- Instead of frying -- bake, broil, or roast meats.
- Most often, choose monounsaturated fats and oils.
- Less often, choose polyunsaturated fats and oils.
- Limit or avoid saturated fats and trans fats.
1 AnswerIf you have gestational diabetes, you need to be careful about fat, especially if you’re having excess weight gain. Here are some tips:
- Buy lean protein foods, such as poultry, roast beef, ham, and fish. Limit lunchmeat, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs.
- Remove all visible fat by removing the skin of poultry and trimming fat from meat.
- Bake, broil, steam, boil or grill foods.
- Avoid frying. If you do fry foods, use nonstick pans, vegetable oil spray or small amounts (1 to 2 teaspoons) of oil.
- Use skim or low-fat (1%) milk and dairy products.
- Limit or avoid adding extra fat, such as butter, margarine, sour cream, mayonnaise, avocados, cream, cream cheese, salad dressing or nuts.
- Stay away from convenience foods. These are often higher in carbohydrate, fat and sodium.
- Avoid instant noodles, canned soup, instant potatoes, frozen meals and packaged foods.
1 AnswerIf you have gestational diabetes, it is best to watch out for sugar and concentrated sweets. Sweets raise your blood glucose quickly and significantly -- without providing much nutritional value. So do the following:
- Don’t drink fruit juice, and get your fruit servings later in the day (not at breakfast). Although fruits are a healthy source of carbohydrate, their carbs are easily absorbed and tend to raise blood glucose levels quickly.
- Avoid regular soft drinks, fruit juice and fruit drinks. High-carbohydrate drinks like these raise your blood glucose quickly.
- Limit desserts such as ice cream, pies, cakes, cookies, and so on. (These foods often have large amounts of table sugar, honey, or other sweeteners such as sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, dextrose, molasses, or fruit juices.)
- Read labels carefully and check them for total carbohydrates per serving.
1 AnswerIf you have gestational diabetes, you should try to eat a very small breakfast, with a similar mid-morning snack about two hours later. When you have gestational diabetes, your blood glucose tends to be high in the morning. To offset this, your meal plan will probably include fewer carbs at breakfast than at lunch or dinner. For example, your plan may specify a breakfast that includes one milk serving, one starch serving and some protein.
1 AnswerIf you have gestational diabetes, you should include some healthy protein with every meal or snack. This helps even out your blood glucose. What’s more, protein helps you feel satisfied and full of energy throughout the day.