One thought that passes through almost every mother’s mind when she is diagnosed with gestational diabetes is how much harder their pregnancy will be. It just seems unfair to have this added pressure on top of morning sickness, fatigue, and heightened emotions. Many women find themselves daydreaming and wondering about how different their lives might be without gestational diabetes.
The truth is, however, that there aren’t a whole lot of differences. Women with gestational diabetes need to be more vigilant with their diet and lifestyle, it’s true, but all pregnant women should abide by a healthy diet and exercise regimen. So how different is a gestational diabetes pregnancy?
Every pregnant woman should maintain a healthy, well balanced diet. You should make sure you are getting plenty of fiber, protein, and all of the vitamins and nutrients you can to keep your body healthy as you are growing another life inside you. You should avoid too many simple carbohydrates and sugars. These are all true of every pregnancy, gestational diabetes or not.
A gestational diabetes pregnancy does need to be extra vigilant and more strict, simply because your blood sugar could spike and lead to complications.
During pregnancy, it is a good idea to get exercise every day to stay limber and healthy. Every woman should discuss with her doctor what exercises are safe during each stage of pregnancy. The only difference for a gestational diabetes pregnancy is that exercise is typically recommended simply because it can help burn off excess carbohydrates and help keep blood sugar levels stabilized.
Most women take a prenatal vitamin, and that does not change if you have gestational diabetes. Most gestational diabetes cases are treated simply with dietary restrictions and a healthy lifestyle, but in some cases medication may be necessary. Typically, insulin can be administered in pill form, and injections are rarely needed.
All women are tested for gestational diabetes in the second trimester. This is because any woman, regardless of whether or not she has any risk factors, can develop gestational diabetes.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you will need to test your blood sugar regularly. This does involve pricking your finger to test your blood, but this is a small price to pay for a healthy pregnancy and it is easy to get used to after the first few times. You may also need to have more blood work done in your doctor’s office than a non-gestational diabetes pregnancy.
Although there are a few differences, for the most part a gestational diabetes pregnancy carries on just like every other normal, healthy pregnancy. Just because you are diagnosed does not mean that your pregnancy is not normal or that it is unhealthy, it just means that you need to be extra careful. The added weight of dietary restrictions and testing may be annoying or even difficult at times, but it will be worth it the moment you hold your baby in your arms. For more information about the difference in gestational diabetes, click here.