If you experience abnormally high blood sugar levels during pregnancy, you may have gestational diabetes. Typically between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor will screen you for gestational diabetes, using a glucose screening test.
If you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, your doctor will probably suggest frequent visits, where your blood sugar levels will be monitored. Your doctor may also ask you to check your own blood sugar levels.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away once the baby is born, but if left untreated, it can cause problems for both you and your baby. The good news is gestational diabetes can be managed and one of the ways to control it is by following a healthy diet.
How Can You Manage Gestational Diabetes?
The most important thing you can do is modify your diet. You’ll want to make changes to your diet that keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range.
How Can Gestational Diabetes Affect Your Baby?
If your blood sugar gets too high, it can cross the placenta and raise your baby’s blood sugar. When your baby gets more blood sugar than necessary, the extra energy is stored as fat. This can cause macrosomia, or “big” baby.
Babies that develop macrosomia can experience damage to their shoulders during birth. They are also at risk for breathing problems and have a higher risk of developing obesity in childhood and type 2 diabetes in adulthood.
How Can Gestational Diabetes Affect You?
Your blood sugar levels should go back to normal after birth. You will have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later, or gestation diabetes again, with your next pregnancy.
The good news is a healthy lifestyle can lower your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.