You Can Have a Healthy Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes. Here’s How! - Mommyato Blog
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You Can Have a Healthy Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes. Here’s How!

You Can Have a Healthy Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes. Here’s How!

Hey Mama! Did you know that 10% of pregnant women develop diabetes during pregnancy?1 This is called gestational diabetes. It usually develops in the 2nd trimester, which is when your provider will test for it. If you test positive, you can still have a healthy pregnancy. But before we get into that, let’s have a little biology review about the mechanics of diabetes!

What Happens in the Body with Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational (occurs during pregnancy)  or Type II diabetes happens when your body can’t produce insulin. After you eat, you need insulin to move sugar out of the blood to convert it to energy. In gestational diabetes, the pancreas is not making enough insulin or the mother’s body isn’t using it properly. At first, this is called insulin resistance, but over time, the pancreas gets tired and blood sugar stays high all the time. This is diabetes.

Some people don’t notice the symptoms and go a long time with Type II diabetes. This is why it’s important to test during pregnancy. The cause of gestational diabetes isn’t exactly known but thought to be connected to hormones released by the placenta that may interfere with the mother’s insulin production, or the mother’s body can’t make or use all the insulin needed for the pregnancy.1

Silent and Not-So Silent Symptoms

Some people never notice diabetes symptoms, but others have vague or specific signs of the condition. Take note of these symptoms and be sure to tell your provider at your next check-up.

The following resource is a great way to check your risk for Type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Association 60 Second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test

What Can You Do to Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy?

Uncontrolled blood sugar during pregnancy, whether it’s high or low, is dangerous for your baby and you. Unregulated blood sugar increases risk for:

Thankfully, there is so much you can do to prevent these problems and significantly decrease the risk for you and your baby. If you’re already diabetic, plan for your pregnancy in tandem with your provider’s recommendations. If you’re overweight, this may mean losing some weight beforehand and controlling your blood sugar with the help of a dietician and/or diabetic education. Check out this resource for dieticians in your area.

A healthy diet is essential. A great resource for meal planning, especially geared towards the caloric needs of pregnancy and the postpartum period is:

  • Make exercise a priority. Even 30 minutes a day of moderate activity 5 days a week helps regulate blood sugar.

  • See your provider early and often for tests and monitoring of symptoms and baby.

  • Take diabetes medication/insulin as prescribed.

  • Monitor symptoms or blood sugar as instructed by your provider.

  • A healthy pregnancy and baby are possible with gestational diabetes. With a little planning and discipline, you can make small one-degree changes in your diet and lifestyle that will make a BIG impact on the health of you and your baby!


Healthy Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes


Healthy Pregnancy with Gestational Diabetes

      1. American Diabetes Association. 2021. Diabetes overview.
      2. Centers for Disease Control. July 14, 2020. Gestational diabetes and pregnancy.