Being pregnant means your body and your diet is going to go through a ton of changes. For diabetic women, these changes can become a bit more complicated than the rest of the pregnant women. Here are answers to five common questions that pregnant woman who are also diabetics, usually have.
What to Eat?
The only difference here is the amount of food you consume. While this is suggested for all pregnant women, a diabetic needs to be aware of what is eaten and when it should be eaten.
The Canadian Diabetes Association says that diabetic women should eat three meals and three snacks per day (with the third meal eaten right before bedtime). However, they recommend being conscious of the carbohydrates being consumed (even if it means restricting it), and having a balance diet of vegetables, non-fat dairy products, whole grains, fruits, lentils, and lean meats.
What Precautions to take?
It is vital to check your glucose levels regularly, regardless of whether you have hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. Doctors suggest pregnant women (with diabetes) to check their blood sugar at night. Therefore if you don't already do this, make a habit of getting up and checking your glucose levels.
What else can be done?
While it is best to take it easy during your pregnancy, the American Diabetes Association has suggested pregnant diabetics to exercise. In order to do this, it is best to discuss with your doctor on a workout plan.
In addition to that, it is important to avoid activities that can be a cause of unnecessary stress on the body such as: scuba diving, intense exercising, activities that involve pressure on abdomen, possible abdominal injury, and bouncing or jolting movements.
What does this mean for the baby?
Glucose levels must be monitored extra carefully during the pregnancy. If glucose level is elevated during the first trimester, it could increase the risk of the baby's malformation. Moreover if glucose levels are unchecked then during late pregnancy the baby is at risk of macrosomia - a condition where the baby is larger than normal, and risking complications for their metabolism.
The trick of having a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby is always being on top of your glucose levels.