Pregnancy offers unique physiological and metabolic challenges, which may impair normal blood sugar control. If left uncontrolled during gestation, uncontrolled hyperglycemia could harm both mother and baby while worsening long term diabetes outcomes.
Predictable meals throughout the day help maintain stable glucose levels. Limit foods high in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugars.
Table of Contents
1. Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a well-rounded diet during pregnancy is crucial to controlling blood sugar levels. A nutritious diet should feature a wide variety of food items rich in fiber while remaining free of saturated and trans fats, added sugars and beverages like soda. Eating several smaller meals and snacks throughout the day will keep blood sugar stable.
Carbs are an essential source of fuel for both you and your baby’s bodies, providing glucose for their bloodstreams to use as energy. Carbs come from starchy foods such as bread, pasta, rice cereal and potatoes with peas as the main sources for glucose in their bodies; sweets candy soda sweetened drinks also contain significant quantities. It is wise to choose foods high in fiber which help manage digestion more easily while helping regulate blood sugar.
As part of a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids to remain hydrated is also crucial. Water and non-caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea are recommended; avoid soda, juice and sugary soft drinks if possible; otherwise limit yourself to no more than three portions a day of sweet beverages such as sweet tea. A portion can consist of anything from one small piece of fruit up to half of a cup of frozen or fresh mixed fruits in syrup;
Gestational Diabetes affects a small percentage of pregnant women during their second trimester. This condition occurs when pregnancy hormones interfere with insulin production and cause your blood sugar levels to spike higher than they should. If left untreated, gestational diabetes could result in complications during labor and delivery that require medical intervention to resolve.
Gestational diabetes often subsides after you give birth, though diet and exercise can help avoid gestational diabetes altogether. If gestational diabetes occurs anyway, your physician may suggest regular blood sugar monitoring and an anti-carb diet with no sugary beverages as well as medication to manage blood sugars.
2. Watch Your Portion Sizes
Pregnancy produces hormones that work against your insulin, making it harder to keep blood sugar within its healthy range. To help avoid this from happening, consume a nutritious and well-balanced diet while only increasing weight as recommended by a healthcare professional.
Carbs in food digest into glucose in your body when digested and have an immediate impact on blood sugar levels after meals. As such, the type and quantity of carbs eaten plays an integral role in helping control your blood sugar. Therefore, including foods from all groups of the food pyramid as well as opting for natural sugar sources such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains to make up an appropriate ratio between refined sugars and natural ones such as these in diet is key in controlling blood sugar. Likewise it’s wise to limit consumption of high-fat or saturated fat sources.
Your doctor may assess your blood sugar at prenatal visits and recommend that you eat three small meals and two or three snacks at regular times each day to help regulate it. They may suggest eating lean meats, eggs, tofu and dairy such as milk, yogurt or cheese for protein; as well as vegetables fruits and whole grains to increase fiber consumption and drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
Your body needs about 300 additional calories each day during the last six months of gestation – which equates to drinking one glass of skim milk and eating two small crackers with peanut butter. Choose nutritious proteins, vegetables and fiber-rich foods while limiting saturated fats, added sugars and sodium (salt).
3. Avoid Sugary Snacks
Finding it difficult to resist sugary snacks while pregnant can be one of the hardest challenges, particularly during the first trimester when cravings for sweets are at their height. A little sugar here and there may not harm, but excessive consumption may contribute to weight gain, dental problems and gestational diabetes; so when cravings arise it is best to satisfy them by turning to lower-sugar options instead of succumbing to temptation!
If you are having difficulty with staying away from sugary snacks during pregnancy, speaking to your OB-GYN about strategies you could employ for healthy eating is recommended. They will assist in creating a meal plan which provides all of the nutrition your and your baby require without excess sugars. Also be sure to read labels closely; many foods contain hidden sources of sweetness you might not expect!
Another key component to maintaining stable blood sugar levels is eating foods with different glycemic indexes in your diet. This will help prevent sudden spikes and crashes in blood sugar caused by eating large quantities of carbohydrates at once; foods like grains, beans, oats, lentils, barley and potatoes should all be part of a well-rounded meal plan. Milk or other dairy products that provide calcium along with some carbs could also prove helpful.
Also, drink plenty of fluids throughout the day – particularly water – to stay hydrated and reduce sugar cravings. Drinking tea and coffee are acceptable but limit how much sugar is added.
Your portion sizes of foods containing sugar should also be monitored carefully; sweets should be limited to no more than 25 grams a day, and eating three small meals and two or three healthy snacks throughout the day should help to curb appetite and cravings. Exercise will also play an integral part in keeping blood sugar stable.
Pregnancy changes your body in many ways, yet most women can safely exercise during their pregnancies without risking complications such as excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Regular exercising has even been linked to reduced complications like gestational diabetes and preeclampsia risk.
However, before beginning an exercise regimen for yourself and/or your baby it is wise to consult your physician and listen to what your body tells you. If it becomes too hot or humid or you find yourself getting exhausted quickly then reduce intensity or cease activity altogether. In addition, remember to drink plenty of water during activity to help avoid overheating which could prove dangerous both to both parties involved.
Exercise can help boost glucose metabolism by increasing sugar uptake into cells. Exercise such as squats in your office, walking around the block or dancing with friends should all help improve this area. Aim for 30 to 1 hour of moderate intensity physical activity every day or 10 minute bouts of light activity spread throughout the day for best results.
Pregnant women must keep their blood glucose levels under tight control to lower the risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, both serious conditions that could threaten both mother and baby’s lives. Uncontrolled glucose can increase gestational diabetes risk as well as preeclampsia risk – both potentially life-threatening conditions for moms and babies alike.
Exercise helps women maintain healthy weights and decrease the likelihood of needing cesarean deliveries (c-section). Studies have also revealed that pregnant women who engaged in two to three hours of weekly physical activity during gestation gained 40 percent less weight compared to those who didn’t exercise during their pregnancies.
Women may be prescribed medicine to control their blood sugar if they exhibit signs of high glucose before reaching 20 weeks gestation, gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia. These may come in the form of tablets — typically metformin — or injections.
Maintaining a nutritious diet and controlling blood sugar are the two best ways to keep gestational glucose under control and experience a healthier pregnancy experience and have healthier children as a result. By adhering to these guidelines, you’ll have a much more fulfilling pregnancy journey and will give birth to healthier offspring.