Gestational diabetes is common to pregnant women. If pregnant women are not particularly concerned, the condition of gestational diabetes becomes dangerous for both mother and baby.
During pregnancy, 2-10% of pregnant women suffer from gestational diabetes and this disease causes many adverse impacts on maternal and fetal health. Therefore, experts recommend that pregnant mothers should take the initiative in controlling their blood sugar levels during pregnancy. However, how is the normal level of blood sugar? Not all the pregnant women know this thing.
1. Normal blood sugar levels during pregnancy
Unlike diabetes, gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy and usually “disappears” after birth. Gestational diabetes is a condition in which the blood sugar levels in the blood is higher than normal because the body does not produce enough insulin to convert glucose into energy.
Normal blood sugar levels for pregnant women:
- Fasting or before meal: At or above 95 mg/dL
- After meal (1 hour): At or above 180 mg/dL
- After meal (2 -3 Hours) : At or above 153 mg/dL
2. Gestational Diabetes Symptoms
If you want to determine exactly, pregnant women should conduct tests for gestational diabetes because gestational diabetes doesn’t often cause noticeable symptoms. That is the reason why your doctor will most likely test you for gestational diabetes sometime between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy.
Pregnant women will be at risk of gestational diabetes if they have one of these things:
- Have a large BMI (a large body mass index)(>=30)
- Have a very large baby (>= 4.5 kg)
- Have previous pregnancies with gestational diabetes and have a family member with diabetes
3. Is gestational diabetes risky?
Gestational diabetes can cause serious complications during pregnancy such as preeclampsia, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth … In addition; the cesarean delivery rate of mothers with gestational diabetes would be substantially higher because the fetal weight is too big. Infants whose mothers have diabetes during pregnancy are at risk for obesity and are prone to respiratory or hypoglycemia.
4. Gestational diabetes management
- Check periodically: Regularly check your blood sugar. This helps pregnant mothers easily track the movements and take the initiative in controlling your blood glucose.
- Take medication as instructed: In some cases, your doctor will give you medicine to adjust the amount of insulin in the body. Don’t use diabetes drugs freely because some diabetes drugs may not be safe for pregnant women.
- Eat well: Performing a healthy diet helps you restrict the dangerous complications of gestational diabetes
- Get regular exercise: 30 minutes of doing exercise every day helps the body better absorb glucose and reduce negative impacts on health. You should start with gentle exercise such as walking, yoga or swimming.
5. What should you eat to control gestational diabetes?
- Have a scientific breakfast: A healthy breakfast helps to control the sugar levels in your blood during the morning. Try having a breakfast with low-GI foods. Porridge is a good choice because it releases energy slowly and evenly. Or you can choose whole grains and bread, and eat with a type of protein-rich food like a boiled egg or low-fat yogurt.
- High-GI foods like toast, white sugar and jam can quickly increase your blood sugar.
- Eat a variety of foods during the day: Eat meals and snacks with a daily average volume. You can also have 2-4 snacks, including a snack in the evening to keep blood sugar levels stable.
- Eat fiber-rich foods: These foods tend to contain low glycaemic index (GI). This helps your blood sugar levels not increase too high after meals. Fiber-high foods include fresh fruits and vegetables; bread and whole grains; peas and other legumes.
- Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables every day: Make sure you have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day: Add fruits into your breakfast; choose two kinds of vegetables in your main meals.
- Limit fat, especially saturated fat: Use olive oil or sunflower oil for cooking and tossing the salad; Boil, steam instead of frying foods; Reduce fat from meat.
- Do not skip meals: Try eating meals at the same time each day with the same amount of food. This keeps your blood sugar levels more stable.
- Do not eat too many sugary foods: Try to reduce or give up sweets, fizzy drinks … These foods contain simple sugars, quickly increasing your blood sugar.
- You can dilute fruit juice with water. Only drink diluted fruit juice once a day. The rest should be the filtered water.