What can be done about gestational diabetes?
In most cases, gestational diabetes is able to be managed by diet and exercise during the pregnancy. It usually disappears after the baby is born once the need for high levels of insulin (during pregnancy) has gone.Some women with gestational diabetes require insulin to manage their blood sugar levels in a healthy range during the pregnancy. If you do need insulin, It will help to keep both you and your baby healthy during the pregnancy.It is very much better for both you and your baby to be in the care of a specialist team if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This team can help you to learn the skills you need to know to manage your gestational diabetes.
You will most probably want to talk over each of the following issues with your health care team members:
- How to keep your blood glucose levels in a healthy range.
- Using a home blood glucose meter to test your blood glucose levels. Whether you need to do this testing and if so how often, will depend on the results of your laboratory blood glucose levels.
- Managing your weight gain during pregnancy. Remember that good nutrition is important during pregnancy. We recommend seeing a dietitian that will help you work out your nutritional needs. Also, it is important to maintain a healthy level of exercise throughout your pregnancy (exercise helps improve blood glucose levels for some people, and is important to improve flexibility and prepare you for childbirth)
- Breastfeeding. There isn’t any reason why you shouldn’t breastfeed your baby. Your milk is the best source of food for your baby.
Remember, if you have had gestational diabetes you should be checked for type 2 diabetes every year for the rest of your life. Your best defence against developing type 2 diabetes is to try to keep your body weight lean and get plenty of physical exercise. Some women remember this by ‘staying lean and mean’.