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Gestational Diabetes

It's unnerving to receive a diagnosis of gestational diabetes. You've never had a problem with diabetes before, so why now? Pregnancy hormones may be affecting how your body makes and uses insulin. It can cause your baby to be born too big and to have other complications at birth. It can also increase your risk of pregnancy problems such as preeclampsia and preterm birth. For these reasons, your doctor will want to watch your health, and your baby's health, closely for the rest of your pregnancy.

Gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy, but for now, you'll need to make some lifestyle changes to keep you and your baby healthy.

Call Doctor If:

  • You become sick and are unable to follow your eating plan.
  • You have high or low blood sugar symptoms.
  • Your blood sugar is above your target range.

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Work with a dietician or diabetes educator to plan healthy meals and snacks that can help keep your blood sugar controlled. You'll need to limit your intake of carbohydrates, which can spike blood sugar.
  • Daily physical activity will also help manage blood sugar. With your doctor's OK, try to get 30 minutes of moderate activity daily. Try walking or swimming for gentle movement.
  • Avoid high-sugar foods such as soda and pastries.
  • Learn the signs of high and low blood sugar and how to deal with them.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on June 21, 2014

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