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Healthy Eating With Gestational Diabetes

Posted in Diabetes

During pregnancy women can develop gestational diabetes mellitus due to changes in hormone levels. Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is a condition where there is too much sugar, also known as glucose, in your blood. This happens when your body’s hormone, insulin, is not working as it should. Insulin moves glucose from your blood so your body can use it for energy. This type of diabetes, which occurs during pregnancy usually goes away after the baby is born. If not treated, gestational diabetes can cause health problems for you and your baby. Developing gestational diabetes shows that you are also at risk of developing diabetes in later life. To prevent this, it is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and healthy weight throughout your lifetime.

The Role of Food

Everything you eat and drink can impact on your health but only carbohydrate foods will turn to glucose in your blood. Carbohydrate foods provide the body with energy, therefore they play a very important role in the provision of energy for growth and development throughout pregnancy.

Foods that contain carbohydrates include bread, cereals, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, milk and yoghurt as well as sugar and sugary foods.

Aim to manage your blood glucose levels by following a healthy diet which includes carbohydrates and also to take regular, gentle exercise daily. Use the food pyramidas a guide.

Helpful tips

It is best to see a dietitian for specific advice but here are some tips to help keep your blood glucose under control while keeping you and your growing baby well nourished:

Post natal

Continue your healthy diet and exercise after your baby is born to stay a healthy weight and reduce your risk for diabetes later in life. Get the whole family involved so that you all stay healthy together!

Updated by Laura Harrington MINDI December 2015. Review date: December 2018.

© 2015 Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, INDI. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with dietitian.  It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.

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