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Managing Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs when a woman is pregnant. It goes away after you deliver your baby, but it does increase your risk for having diabetes later. Most women will develop gestational diabetes around the 24th to 28th week of pregnancy; however, some may be earlier.

During pregnancy, your body produces a number of hormones (chemicals), such as estrogen, progesterone, and human placental lactogen (HPL). These hormones make your body insulin-resistant, thereby making the blood glucose to remain high.


  • Increased thirst

  • Increased hunger

  • A need to urinate more frequently

  • Tiredness

Risk factors include, if you:

  • Are over 30 years of age

  • Have a family history of type 2 diabetes

  • Are overweight

  • Have had gestational diabetes during previous pregnancies

  • Have too much of amniotic fluid.

Women with gestational diabetes usually have no symptoms. Most of the women get this test done between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy to screen for the condition. Women who have risk factors for gestational diabetes may have this test much earlier.

So, the recommended weight gain during pregnancy depends on pre-pregnancy weight, whether there is more than one fetus, and the trimester.

Managing gestational diabetes:

If you have gestational diabetes, your gynecologist may recommend monitoring and controlling your blood glucose levels. For many women, changes in diet and exercise help to control gestational diabetes. Some women will need medications.


  • Go for a well balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates, proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat milk and dairy products.

  • Eat at regular intervals of time.

  • Choose small meals rather than one big meal.

  • Choose foods that have a low glycemic index, as these foods get absorbed into the blood stream slowly.

  • Limit sugars and carbonated drinks.

  • Cut down on oily foods, fried and fast foods.

  • Drink at least 8 cups of water a day.


Physical activity lowers your blood glucose level, so regular exercise can be an effective way to treat gestational diabetes. Studies have shown that, 30-60 minutes of exercise for 4-5 days a week helps to bring down the blood sugar levels.

Medication - If your sugar levels are not controlled through diet and exercise, you may be prescribed medicines, which can include oral hypoglycemic agents or insulin therapy.

High blood sugar levels often revert to normal after delivery. However, women with gestational diabetes should be watched closely after giving birth and at regular doctor's appointments to screen for signs of diabetes. Chances are that many women tend to develop gestational diabetes within 5 - 10 years after delivery.

Planning your pregnancy? Your lifestyle changes along with a holistic approach diet, exercise, sleep are essential to fight out your gestational diabetes.


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