One important part of your pregnancy care process with your maternal fetal medicine specialist is screening for high blood sugar. That’s because gestational diabetes can happen for many reasons, even if you don’t already have diabetes outside of pregnancy. With some extra steps, you can still experience a happy and healthy pregnancy with high blood sugar, so here’s what to know about gestational diabetes and the steps you can take.
Risk factors for gestational diabetes
There are some known risk factors that can mean you’ll be more likely to develop high blood sugar during pregnancy. These include:
It’s important to note that about half of women who get gestational diabetes and high blood sugar don’t have any of the above risk factors. During an appointment with your maternal fetal medicine specialist, you’ll discuss these factors and whether they apply to you. If they do, then you’ll undergo an early screening to keep an eye on your blood sugar levels through a simple blood test.
- Being over 25 years old
- A family history of type 2 diabetes
- High blood sugar levels
- A previous pregnancy where your baby was over 9 pounds
- Being overweight (a body mass index of over 30)
- A previous pregnancy where you had gestational diabetes
How to cut your risk for gestational diabetes
The most effective way to prevent gestational diabetes is by making the right lifestyle choices. This includes managing your diet with a customized plan and the help of a registered dietician. When you cut out sugar and refined carbohydrates, it can lower your body’s chances of developing diabetes during pregnancy, as well as help your baby get all the nutrients it needs. Instead, try adding more fiber in the form of fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Secondly, you should develop an exercise plan that will suit your needs and comfort level during pregnancy. Low-impact exercise like walking or yoga can help keep your body healthy and active for the duration of your pregnancy, reducing your risk.
What to do if you have gestational diabetes
Making the above lifestyle changes can help at any stage of your diagnosis. Additionally, your maternal fetal medicine specialist will make sure to monitor your body’s blood sugar level with regular screenings and create the right care plan for a good outcome for both you and your baby. This means you might need to monitor your blood sugar levels at home as well, and your baby may need extra care steps after birth. Fortunately, many women return to healthy blood sugar levels after birth, but it’s still possible to develop type 2 diabetes later on if you have gestational diabetes, meaning it’s important to keep an eye on your health and blood sugar levels for the long term.
Schedule an Appointment
Gestational diabetes is easily manageable with the right care steps. To meet with our award-winning team and discuss your options for our gestational diabetes support program, we invite you to contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form.
Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!