Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) occurs in women during pregnancy. These women may not have cases of diabetes before they became pregnant. GDM usually disappears after the birth of the baby. This condition is becoming more common in the world with about 5% of the pregnancies being diabetic.
There is no need for the mother to worry about her own safety or that of the child as long as she maintains her blood sugar levels at normal levels.
If the sugar levels are not monitored properly, the mother may experience problems during delivery. The baby will grow too big because there is excess sugar in the mother’s blood. An oversized baby may be injured during delivery and it may have to be delivered through caesarian operation.
Insulin is the hormone that gets glucose into the cells from the blood. A diabetic person does not produce enough insulin. It is possible to control gestational diabetes while it is in its mild stages by a proper gestational diabetes meal plan.
If it is at advanced level insulin will have to be injected into the system. Your doctor will be able to recommend an appropriate diet that will give you all the nutrients your body requires.
The following are some general guidelines that may help you in your dieting:
- Eat a wide variety of foods making sure that you get enough calories from fiber rich foods from your diet.
- According to the American Diabetes Association you should have three small or moderate meals each day and two to four snacks daily. Another snack just before bed is recommended.
- Keep your blood sugar levels at a constant level by not skipping any meals.
- Have your food at about the same time every day.
- Do not delay your meals until you start getting the hunger pangs because eating while your stomach is demanding food will make your sugar levels to rise.
- Reduce or completely avoid foods that contain sugar like sodas and cakes. Such foods will only serve to raise your sugar levels. Milk contains lactose that is a form of sugar. It is advisable not to take more than two glasses of milk in a day.
- Take simple exercises like waking after having your meals.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Monitor and record the levels of your blood sugar.
The aim of a gestational diabetes meal plan is to lower the intake of simple sugars, salt and fat and increase amounts of fiber rich foods as well as complex carbohydrates. The American Diabetes Association recommends that calories from fats should not exceed 30% of the calories in a meal; proteins should not give more than 20% while the rest should come from vegetables, fruits and carbohydrates.
A day’s calorie intake can be divided into six portions distributed well throughout the day. Your doctor or dietician will be a very good source of information about your diet. Whenever you have any questions relating to your dieting ask your nutritionist for guidance and assistance.