Gestational Diabetes Treatments
Gestational diabetes is a possible pregnancy complication. It’s when the blood glucose (blood sugar) level goes too high while you’re pregnant. According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, out of every 100 pregnant women in America, 3 to 8 of them will develop gestational diabetes.1
Doctors are vigilant about checking for gestational diabetes—because unchecked blood glucose levels can cause problems for the baby. If you’ve diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your doctor will work with you to control your blood glucose symptoms so that you can have a good pregnancy and protect the health of your baby.
Gestational Diabetes Treatments
We’re sure if you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you want to know one thing: how to keep this from affecting your baby. You can treat gestational diabetes by controlling your blood glucose level so that it doesn’t go too high.
There are a variety of ways to try to control your blood glucose level while you’re pregnant. You can eat well (and watch what you eat closely) and exercise—all according to your doctor’s instructions. You may also take insulin or medications, but not every woman with gestational diabetes will need insulin or a medication (or be able to take them).
Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan (Gestational Diabetes Diet)
There isn’t a “gestational diabetes diet” exactly, but there are ways to eat healthier so that you take care of your blood glucose levels and of your baby.
A registered dietitian (RD) or certified diabetes educator (CDE) can work with you to develop a meal plan. This will be personalized; it will take into account your health, level of physical activity, and likes and dislikes.
It’s important to follow your meal plan precisely; when you eat and how much you eat at each meal affects your blood glucose levels.
You can visit our Diabetic Recipes Center for ideas of what to eat. Since all our recipes include nutritional information, you'll be able to closely watch what you eat and make sure it fits in with your gestational diabetes meal plan.
Exercise When You Have Gestational Diabetes
It may not sound like much fun when you’re pregnant, but exercising can help control your blood glucose levels. When you work out, your body uses more glucose (makes sense since glucose is what we use for energy and you need more energy during exercise). Therefore, exercise can lower your blood glucose level.
Talk to your doctor about what kinds of exercises you can do while you’re pregnant. It’s a good idea to aim for 30 minutes of physical activity a day—be it walking, swimming, gardening, anything where you’re out moving.
Medications or Insulin for Type 2 Diabetes
If eating well and exercising aren’t working to control your blood glucose levels, your doctor may recommend medication or insulin to help. As a reassurance: these medications will not hurt the baby.
The doctor will talk to you about what medication he or she suggest and all the details of using it.
Diabetes During Pregnancy Is Manageable
You have a lot going on during pregnancy anyway, so being told you have gestational diabetes may seem like just another thing to add to the stress.
However, by working closely with your doctor, you can better manage your blood glucose levels and protect your baby when you have gestational diabetes.