Pregnant Women With Type 1 Or 2 Diabetes? If you’re pregnant and have diabetes, including certain foods and limiting others can help manage their blood sugar levels.

Pregnancy is an exciting and demanding phase for every woman as the body goes through a lot of changes during this period. It is advisable to prepare your body for this change. Preconception health focuses on what you can do before and between pregnancies to increase the chances of having a healthy baby and it becomes more important if you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

“It is important to consult your doctor and a certified nutritionist if you are planning to get pregnant and you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. They can assist you in maintaining your blood sugar levels and in developing a diet plan that has the appropriate nutrients and fits your lifestyle. Planning your meals and eating at the same time each day can prevent too high or too low blood sugar levels,” says Dr. Preety Aggarwal, Medical Director for Gynecology and Obstetrics at Motherhood Hospital, Gurgaon.

However, keep in mind that ‘eating for two’ does not entail eating twice as much. Dr. Preety

asserts, “When you are pregnant, your daily caloric needs only increase by about 300. Instead of simply eating more, concentrate on obtaining foods that are more nutritious.”

The expert also explains why it’s important to regulate blood sugar levels for pregnant women and how to do it.

Why do pregnant women need to manage their blood sugar levels?

Dr. Preety says:

High glucose levels when you are planning pregnancy and early in pregnancy raise the risk of miscarriage and congenital abnormalities. High blood glucose levels during the second half of pregnancy and just before delivery might make the baby size and weight more than usual, which raises the possibility of difficulties during vaginal delivery and thus cesarean section might be required.

Diabetes patients are more likely to experience pregnancy-induced hypertension and an excessive amount of amniotic fluid in the second part of pregnancy. The risk of stillbirth can also rise in late pregnancy when blood glucose levels are high.

A holistic approach can be adopted to maintain optimum blood sugar levels. This would include having a nutritious diet, managing portion size, exercising and ensuring to take your supplements and medicines on time.

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Dietary tips for pregnant women with type 1 or 2 diabetes

If you’re pregnant and have diabetes, including certain foods and limiting others can help manage their blood sugar levels. Dr. Preety tells you what to eat and what to skip.

What to eat?

Ensure you consume the right balance of nutrients by including;

  • Variety of vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Fresh seasonal fruits
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Lean meats and fish
  • Healthy fats

However, you also need a strategy for maintaining blood sugar control throughout the day by maintaining portion size of your meals and small frequent meals.

Following a regular schedule of three meals and three snacks is a solid strategy. Ensure to consume a minimum of one serving of protein and one serving of carbohydrates and lots of vegetables at each meal. Additionally, make sure you’re obtaining the nutrients every pregnant woman requires, such as: Folic Acid, Iron, Vitamin D and Calcium.

What to Skip?

  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco in any form as it increases the chances of miscarriage and fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Avoid half cooked meat or raw or semi cooked vegetables
  • Do not consume unpasteurized milk products, juices, and soft cheeses.
  • Don’t drink more than 200 milligrams of caffeine a day
  • Reduce intake of sweets and desserts as it causes spike in blood sugar levels
  • It is better to avoid artificial sweeteners during pregnancy

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Measures to regulate blood sugar during pregnancy

For blood glucose management during pregnancy, those with type 2 diabetes who have been managed with diet and/or oral medicines typically need insulin. Although a small percentage of people with type 2 diabetes can control their condition during pregnancy while taking oral diabetic drugs, the majority must switch to insulin therapy during this time.

Since the body grows increasingly resistant to insulin during pregnancy, most people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes require more insulin throughout pregnancy, particularly during the final third of pregnancy i.e, about 26 to 40 weeks.

Regular contact with medical professionals is crucial for controlling blood glucose levels and keeping a check on both the mother’s and the baby’s health. The healthcare professional may want to frequently evaluate the patient’s blood glucose levels and insulin dosages.

Additionally, exercise is a great way to control blood sugar levels and weight. Most people who exercised before becoming pregnant are able to do so again while pregnant but at a slightly slower rate. It is advised to engage in moderately intense activity, like brisk walking. Those who have never exercised before may start doing so while pregnant after consulting their healthcare physician. As the pregnancy progresses or if difficulties arise, exercise intensity, kind, and duration may need to be modified. Home 

Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by shalw

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