Gestational diabetes, which can be a temporary condition during pregnancy and get corrected after childbirth, needs due treatment so that it does not prove harmful for the unborn baby or her mother. Furthermore, there is a tendency for women having gestational diabetes to later have type 2 diabetes. Treatment becomes significant owing to the complications, including the short and long term outcomes, of diabetes.
Major Treatments for Gestational Diabetes
Usually, women having gestational diabetes can control their blood sugar and have healthy babies. The risk for developing type 2 diabetes can also be controlled (reduced) by adopting some preventive measures when you have suffered from gestational diabetes.
Monitor Blood Glucose
You should aim at bringing your blood glucose levels, usually measured in terms of milli moles of glucose in one liter of blood, as close to the target as possible. By adhering to the required concentration of glucose in blood, you can control gestational diabetes and its potential unfavorable effects. There are two types of blood glucose monitoring – fasting and postprandial. Your doctor can assist you in determining the frequency and method of testing blood glucose levels. During gestational diabetes, you may have to test both types of blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy.
Insulin and Medication
Women may need medication to control their gestational diabetes and protect their babies from potential damage. Insulin can be used to treat gestational diabetes. When you take insulin, you may be required to check blood glucose before going to bed at night. But before taking insulin shots, you may have to focus on controlling blood sugar through diet and lifestyle changes.
Gestational diabetes can also be treated through drugs called glyburide and metformin which are used for treating type 2 diabetes. Sometimes, oral hypoglycemic agents may be recommended besides or instead of insulin. These can lower the level of glucose in blood. Metformin and glibenclamide may be the recommended ones during pregnancy. However, these can cause side effects like vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. Glibenclamide may put you at risk of hypoglycemia.
Watch Diet and Lifestyle
You are the most important person during pregnancy to ensure the health of your child. Women having gestational diabetes should adjust their diet and lifestyle to have effective control over the condition. Many women can control gestational diabetes by changing diet and exercising more. Healthy choices can help prevent gestational diabetes in later pregnancies and type 2 diabetes as well. You may be eating a healthy diet but having gestational diabetes can demand specific quantity and quality of foods in diet. You may also need to change when and how much you eat. This is not cumbersome but certainly needs careful and dedicated planning.
Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. This will ensure appropriate intake of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Restrict and avoid sugar and sugary foods. They can serve as occasional treats. Instead, opt for the sugar -free ones. Restrict unsaturated fats to help in controlling cholesterol levels. Lean meat and balance of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can enhance diet.
A balanced diet can be arrived at after consulting your doctor or dietician. You should restrict the amount of carbohydrate to control your blood sugar. While you should avoid dieting during pregnancy, you may have to keep a check that the recommended calories intake is not exceeded. Weight gain is an important aspect of pregnancy and pregnant women can gain anywhere from about 11kg to 16 kg. But overweight or obese pregnant women may have to eat less and gain less weight owing to their increased risk for high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
You can enjoy healthy living even without indulging into expensive and extensive exercising or gymming. A simple exercising as walking several times a week can go considerably in controlling blood sugar. Aim at about 2 hours (weekly) of moderate exercising. Being active is a significant part of healthy pregnancy.
If you have not been exercising before, talk with your doctor before starting to exercise. You may adhere to the low-impact activities, like walking or swimming, or try special exercise classes for pregnant women. Healthy choices in living can show results now and later. You can start feeling more energetic and refreshing after knowing how your body benefits from eating correctly and exercising regularly.
Observe Fetal Growth and Health
During pregnancy, you can be advised to monitor fetal movements through kick counts, ultrasounds, baby’s heart beat and non stress test. The kick counts can determine your baby’s movement. Fetal ultrasounds can help monitor baby’s growth. Non stress test can monitor heart beat of the fetus ensuring its health and well-being.
You may need more than the usual checkups when having gestational diabetes to ensure the health of your baby including your own.
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