You are the most important person in
determining whether you will have a healthy pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes, like any form of diabetes,
cannot be successfully treated with medicines alone.
diabetes educator, registered dietitian, and other health professionals
can help you learn how to care for yourself and protect your baby from
problems. If you learn as much as you can about gestational diabetes, you will
have the knowledge you need to have a healthy pregnancy. As you understand how
food and exercise affect your blood sugar, you can better control your blood
sugar level and help prevent problems from gestational diabetes.
Home treatment for gestational diabetes includes changing the way you
eat, exercising regularly, and checking your blood sugar.
Eating healthy foods
Changing what, when, and how much you eat can help
keep your blood sugar level in a target range. After you are diagnosed with gestational
diabetes, you will meet with a registered dietitian to decide on an
individualized healthy eating plan. Your dietitian may ask you to write down
everything you eat and to keep track of your weight. He or she will also teach
you how to count
carbohydrate in order to spread carbohydrate
throughout the day.
- Gestational Diabetes: Counting Carbs
Getting regular exercise
exercise during pregnancy helps your body use
insulin better, which helps control your blood sugar
level. Often, exercising and eating well can treat gestational diabetes. Try to
do at least 2½ hours a week of moderate exercise.4, 5 One way to do this is to be active
30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. It's fine to be active in blocks of
10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
If you have never
exercised regularly or were not exercising before you became pregnant, talk
with your doctor before you start exercising. Exercise that does not place too
much stress on your lower body—such as using an arm ergometer, a machine that
just works your arm muscles; or riding a recumbent bicycle, a type of bike with
a seat that looks like a chair—are especially good for pregnant women. You may
also want to try special exercise classes for pregnant women or other
low-impact activities such as swimming or walking.
If exercise and changing the way you eat keep your
blood sugar within a target range, you will not need to take diabetes medicine. If you need to take insulin, make sure you have a
quick-sugar food, such as 3 or 4 glucose tablets or 3 pieces of hard candy, with you when you exercise in case
symptoms of low blood sugar. Symptoms of low blood sugar include sweating, blurred vision, and confusion. If you think that your
blood sugar is low, stop exercising, check your blood sugar level, and eat the