Understanding Gestational Diabetes
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One of the more common conditions during pregnancy is gestational diabetes. If you don’t know too much about the condition, you can use this video s a guide to understanding gestational diabetes.
Transcript: Every year in the United States, 135,000, or 5 percent, of pregnant women are diagnosed with gestational...
Every year in the United States, 135,000, or 5 percent, of pregnant women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. To help reduce the confusion that often follows, keep watching! Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman's hormones reduce the effectiveness of her insulin. This happens only in pregnant women and is usually diagnosed between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. Let's look at how gestational diabetes develops. During pregnancy, the baby's nutrient center, the placenta, produces hormones like estrogen and cortisol that are vital to a child's development. In the last trimesters, the placenta secretes even more of these hormones to help your baby grow. Unfortunately, these pregnancy hormones can sometimes reduce the effectiveness of the mother's insulin. Without adequate insulin, blood sugar rises, resulting in the condition known as gestational diabetes. If left untreated, gestational diabetes can result in high birth weight, low blood sugar, or respiratory difficulties in your baby. Because gestational diabetes has no discernable symptoms, it's important to know if you are a high risk candidate for developing the disease. Most often, gestational diabetes occurs in women who are over 25, have a family history of type 2 diabetes, a previous history of gestational diabetes, are of non-Caucasian descent or who were overweight prior to pregnancy. If you are a high-risk candidate for developing gestational diabetes, your doctor will screen you by giving you a glucose challenge test. This involves drinking a sugary beverage and measuring blood sugar levels afterward. Levels above 140 mg/dl are considered gestational-positive. If you have gestational diabetes, you will need to monitor your blood glucose levels several times a day to keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy. Here are some simple ways to keep blood glucose normal. Gentle exercise, like brisk walking or swimming, is essential for women with gestational diabetes. But please ask your doctor before starting any exercise regimen while pregnant. It is also important for women with gestational diabetes to eat a healthy variety of foods. A dietician can help plan meals that are low in simple sugars and carbohydrates. Usually, regular exercise and a healthy diet will effectively treat gestational diabetes. If blood sugar remains high however, a doctor may recommend medications or insulin injections to help regulate glucose. After a mother delivers, her hormones return to normal levels and gestational diabetes usually goes away. She should still have a blood glucose test after pregnancy, to be sure that her sugar has indeed returned to the proper range. Women who develop gestational diabetes in pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future, so they need to be tested periodically throughout their lives. They also need to be diligent to lose excess body weight after delivery. If you are pregnant, ask your doctor about getting tested for gestational diabetes. Doing so will help ensure a healthy pregnancy for you and a healthy start for your child.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-15 | Tags »
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A healthy pregnancy is accompanied by a healthy diet which is essential for your health as well as your baby's. Watch this video to learn about food for a healthy pregnancy.
Transcript: Now that you're pregnant you can eat whatever you want, right? Well-not quite! Keep watching for tips...
Now that you're pregnant you can eat whatever you want, right? Well-not quite! Keep watching for tips on keeping mom and baby healthy during pregnancy. Good nutrition is vital during pregnancy. Your baby needs plenty of vitamins and minerals to develop properly and you need them to stay strong - as you probably know by now, pregnancy is exhausting. Ensure your baby gets the food it needs! Most pregnant women need to eat only 300 extra calories a day. That's a healthy weight gain of about five pounds during the first trimester. While you're pregnant, try to eat three daily servings of protein to support the baby's rapid growth. Consider lean meats, eggs and legumes. Calcium also helps babies build bones. If you're not fond of milk, consider kale or edamame. Bold, colorful fruits and veggies contain the most nutrients to help your baby grow. Apples and iceburg lettuce are good for you, but mangos and romaine lettuce are even better. Of course, you'll need certain extras, too! Your pregnant body can't store essential Vitamin C. Get a fresh supply every day with strawberries, melon, tomatoes, and, of course, orange juice. Mineral-rich whole grain breads, cereals and pastas provide vital nutrients and can also combat pregnancy-induced nausea. To prevent anemia while pregnant, you'll need more iron. Spinach, soy products, dried fruit and blackstrap molasses are all great choices. To stay hydrated and healthy, aim for at least eight, eight-ounce cups of fluid daily. Water is best but milk, sugar-free juice and other liquids count, too! Fill in any gaps in your diet with a multivitamin formulated especially for pregnant women. While pregnant, you must remember that not every food is healthy for you and your baby. Alcohol is a no-no. Even moderate drinking can induce complications. Caffeine is OK in small doses, but stay below 300 milligram, or three cups, daily. That's because caffeine can counteract the benefits of calcium, and may increase the chances of miscarriage. Minimal unsaturated fats and salts are fine, but limit total fats to less than 30 percent of your daily calories. Also, avoid empty calories, like those found in processed and junk foods. You may love sushi, but pregnancy isn't the time to eat anything raw or undercooked. Cook meats until well done and fish until it flakes. Make sure that egg yolks are cooked through, and that all dairy products are pasteurized. Steer clear of herbal supplements and teas. They're natural, sure, but ginkgo biloba and St. John's Wort can have negative effects on a pregnant body. Of course, if you're pregnant, discuss any medications you are taking with your doctor. Many other natural therapies, like massage, meditation and acupuncture can relieve stress and ease the physical aches of pregnancy. Just be sure to tell any practioner that you are pregnant before beginning a session! The bottom line is that natural is better when you're pregnant. Always consult your doctor before trying a new diet or therapy.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-15 | Tags »
pregnancy nutrition, pregnancy diet, pregnancy vitamins, pregnancy foods, pregnancy and iron, pregnancy anemia pregnancy diet plan, vitamins, minerals, calcium, folic acid, anemia pregnancy advice, pregnant information, obstetrician, weight gain