Gestational diabetes is a pretty common, but serious pregnancy condition that usually occurs later on during pregnancy, and although there’s no way to completely eliminate the risk of developing it, there are certainly some ways to help prevent it.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is the occurrence of diabetes, that is, an impaired ability for your body to process sugar, during pregnancy. Once a woman has developed gestational diabetes, it will probably not disappear until after she gives birth, and may cause problems if left unmonitored, so the best best treatment for gestational diabetes is prevention.
What are some risk factors for gestational diabetes?
- Women who had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
- Those who are obese, or who have given birth to a very heavy baby in the past
- Pregnant women with a family history of diabetes, or who already have sugar in their urine, often called prediabetes
What are some good ways to prevent gestational diabetes?
Because gestational diabetes is never completely preventable, it’s always smart to make sure you follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations as far as diagnostic testing goes (and always!). Keeping on getting yourself to a healthy weight range by eating right and exercising is no doubt the best way to actually prevent the onset of the condition. Many healthcare providers suggest exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 4 or 5 times a week. Staying away from sugary, processed foods in favor of fresh fruits and vegetables is also a good bet. Women who are at high risk for developing gestational diabetes should especially take care to exercise and eat healthily as well as have your healthcare provider perform tests as needed.
Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
- “Gestational Diabetes: FAQ177.” ACOG. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 9/13/2015. Web.
- Deirdre K. Tobias, SM, Cuilin Zhang, MD, PHD, Rob M. van Dam, MD, PHD, Katherine Bowers, PHD, Frank B. Hu, MD, PHD. “Physical Activity Before and During Pregnancy and Risk of Gestational Diabetes MellitusPhysical Activity Before and During Pregnancy and Risk of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus.” Diabetes Care. American Diabetes Association, 9/27/2010. Web.