Gestational Diabetic Diet
The first step to treating gestational diabetes is following a gestational diabetic diet. Many times, following a diabetic diet for gestational diabetes, is the only necessary treatment for managing blood glucose levels during pregnancy. If the gestational diabetic diet fails to control blood sugar levels, insulin injections may be necessary. Managing blood glucose levels is crucial for preventing complications associated with gestational diabetes.
A typical gestational diabetic diet includes three meals and two or three snacks per day. A dietician or nutritionist will devise a gestational diabetic diet for the pregnant woman that fills the nutritional needs of the pregnant woman and helps prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. A pregnant woman usually needs more calories than people who are not pregnant. Therefore, a gestational diabetic diet may contain provisions for more calories than a normal diabetic diet.
Sugary and starchy foods can elevate blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose during digestion. A dietician can teach the pregnant woman with diabetes how to safely eat carbohydrates and other foods. Carbohydrates such as bread and grains are a considerable portion of the diabetic diet. The serving size of carbohydrates, the type of carbohydrates chosen, and eating them with protein can reduce the likelihood and severity of a glucose level spike.
A gestational diabetic diet may include six to eleven servings of bread or grain, two to three servings of protein, two to four servings of fruit or vegetables, four dairy servings, and limited amounts of fat. This is a very basic description of the contents of a gestational diabetes diet. A dietician will devise a diet for the gestational diabetes patient based on her needs.
A Gestational Diabetic Diet is part of the treatment plan for gestational diabetes. The obstetrician often requires a pregnant woman with diabetes to check her blood sugar levels periodically throughout the day. These checks are usually done in the morning and after each meal. The doctor may do more frequent physical exams or ultrasounds, especially in the last trimester to check how the gestational diabetes is affecting the size of the unborn baby.