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How should I build a gestational diabetes meal plan?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs only during pregnancy. Following a meal plan is one of the most important parts of your treatment. Your doctor or other healthcare provider (registered dietitian or diabetes educator) will work with you to develop a personalized meal plan. However, in terms of the basics, meal plans for gestational diabetes are built around a few key ideas:
  • Carbohydrates matter. All foods contain some combination of carbohydrate, fat and protein. Fat and protein affect your blood glucose over many hours, but carbohydrate affects it much faster. For this reason, you’ll need to regulate your intake of foods that are rich in carbohydrate (or carbs). Your healthcare provider will show you how -- and your meal plan will help you stay on track.
  • Nutrition matters. More than ever before, you need to make healthy food choices. Nutritious foods support your baby’s growth and development, help control your gestational diabetes and keep you feeling good. Your meal plan supports healthy choices.
  • Timing and portions matter. Controlling your gestational diabetes requires controlling the pattern of your eating. Your meal plan gives you targets for when to eat and how much to eat. Following your meal plan can help you control your gestational diabetes, nourish your growing baby and keep you feeling good.
... and don’t forget:
  • Follow the rest of your gestational diabetes treatment plan. Your meal plan may be just one part of your treatment. Follow your healthcare team’s advice for any daily testing, exercise or medication.
  • Keep taking your daily prenatal vitamin as directed by your doctor or midwife.
  • Stay in touch. Contact your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your meal plan or your pregnancy. Keep your appointments for monthly prenatal visits with your doctor or midwife.
  • Enjoy your pregnancy! Remember that most babies born to women with gestational diabetes are healthy. Follow your treatment plan, try not to worry and look forward to meeting your baby.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.