Having a healthy pregnancy with gestational diabetes

Health is a top priority for expecting mothers . Certain conditions, like gestational diabetes, can make it more complicated to have a healthy pregnancy. That’s why the maternity team at West Hills Hospital firmly believes in delivering superior, family-centered care and exceptional patient education.

Understand the risks of gestational diabetes
Patients who understand their diagnoses are better able to make the informed healthcare decisions that protect them and their babies. Expecting moms with gestational diabetes have extra blood glucose that affects the developing baby through the placenta. This can result in a large birth weight, which increases the risk of shoulder injuries during birth.

Additionally, gestational diabetes can increase the risk of breathing problems of the infant. Later in life, the child may be more susceptible to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Keep track of blood glucose levels
Although gestational diabetes is a serious issue, it can be effectively managed with help from your maternity care team. Your doctor may ask that you check your blood glucose levels before and after eating a meal. He or she will let you know where these levels should be, and what you should do if your blood glucose is too high.

Follow a diabetes-friendly meal plan
A registered dietician can help you learn how to count carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are significant, because they raise your blood glucose level. Simple carbs elevate blood glucose quickly, while complex carbs release steadier energy over time.

The dietician may ask that you avoid or strictly limit the following:

  • Fruit juice
  • Desserts and sweets
  • Added sugars
  • Refined cereals

Instead, choose healthy foods like these:

  • Vegetables
  • Limited amounts of fresh fruit
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • Skinless poultry
  • Whole grains

Stay active during pregnancy
Talk to a maternity specialist before starting or changing your exercise plan during pregnancy. You may be asked to check your blood glucose before and after each work out.

Your doctor will help you develop an exercise program that’s safe for you and your baby. While every woman’s health needs are unique, the following workouts are generally considered safe for most:

  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Stationary cycling

You and your baby deserve nothing less than world-class care delivered by compassionate maternity specialists. The maternity team at West Hills Hospital invites you to tour our Family Birthing Center, and learn about our cutting-edge NICU. You can get in touch with a registered nurse in West Hills by calling (818) 676-4321.

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