Treating gestational diabetes
Because gestational diabetes can hurt
you and your baby, you need to start treatment quickly.
Treatment for gestational diabetes aims to keep blood
glucose levels equal to those of pregnant women who don't
have gestational diabetes. Treatment for gestational
diabetes always includes special meal plans and scheduled
physical activity. It may also include daily blood glucose
testing and insulin injections. You will need help from your
doctor, nurse educator, and other members of your health
care team so that your treatment for gestational diabetes
can be changed as needed.
For you as the mother-to-be,
treatment for gestational diabetes helps lower the risk of a
cesarean section birth that very large babies may require.
Sticking with your treatment for gestational diabetes will
give you a healthy pregnancy and birth, and may help your
baby avoid future poor health.
Gestational diabetes -- Looking ahead
Gestational diabetes usually goes
away after pregnancy. But once you've had gestational
diabetes, your chances are 2 in 3 that it will return in
future pregnancies. In a few women, however, pregnancy
uncovers type 1 or type 2 diabetes. It is hard to tell
whether these women have gestational diabetes or have just
started showing their diabetes during pregnancy. These women
will need to continue diabetes treatment after pregnancy.
Many women who have gestational
diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes years later. There
seems to be a link between the tendency to have gestational
diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Gestational diabetes and type
2 diabetes both involve insulin resistance. Certain basic
lifestyle changes may help prevent diabetes after
Losing weight Are you more
than 20% over your ideal body weight? Losing even a few
pounds can help you avoid developing type 2 diabetes.
Making healthy food choices
Follow simple daily guidelines, like eating a variety of
foods including fresh fruits and vegetables, limiting fat
intake to 30% or less of daily calories, and watching your
portion size. Healthy eating habits can go a long way in
preventing diabetes and other health problems.
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.
Keeping worry in perspective
While gestational diabetes is a cause
for concern, the good news is that you and your health care
team - your doctor, obstetrician, nurse educator, and
dietitian - work together to lower your high blood glucose
levels. And with this help, you can turn your concern into a
healthy pregnancy for you, and a healthy start for your
Diabetes and Pregnancy
The key to a healthy pregnancy for a woman with diabetes
is keeping blood sugar in the target range - both before she
is pregnant and during her pregnancy. To do this, you need a
diabetes treatment plan that keeps meals, exercise and
insulin in balance.
Women's sexual health
Learn how diabetes can affect your sexual health.