If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you’re going to be making some changes to how you eat. There’s no other way around it. You’ll need to get serious about keeping track of the carbohydrates you take into your body, and when you do it.
Fortunately, gestational diabetes goes away after the baby is born, but in the meantime, you need to do the things to help protect yourself and your baby from the dangers caused by gestational diabetes. Treatment for your gestational diabetes is crucial.
About Diet Changes During Pregnancy
With gestational diabetes, your meal plan needs to include enough extra calories to make a baby. This usually means about 300 extra calories per day during the second and third trimesters. Also, you need an extra 10 to 12 grams of protein to facilitate the normal growth of your baby.
Most experts say the best breakdown of calories during pregnancy is to get 15-25% from protein, 45-60% from carbohydrates, and 20-30% from fat.
Gestational Diabetes – Meal Plan Specifics
For some women, diet alone is enough to control their gestational diabetes. A meal plan can help with this by keeping you conscious of what you are eating and when you are eating it. Generally, with gestational diabetes this means a meal plan with 3 meals a day and 1 to 3 snacks a day. Particularly important is the final snack at night to help keep your blood sugar high enough during the night.
Consistency is important. You should eat at the same times every day, and not skip meals or snacks. You need to be careful about portion control and not overdue how much you eat of any one food.
Obviously, you must avoid foods with added sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, and jams, jellies, or preserves.
Having foods that are high in fiber benefits you in a few ways. First, the high fiber helps control your blood sugar. Also, the high fiber will help you to continue to have regular bowel movements throughout your pregnancy. High fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, bran cereals, whole grain bread, and cooked dried beans.
Gestational Diabetes – Exercise? Beyond A Meal Plan
Having a gestational diabetes meal plan will help you eat the right things at the right time to help minimize risks from your gestational diabetes. For some women, diet changes alone are not enough to control their gestational diabetes. If this is the case with you, make sure you are getting enough exercise. Talk to your doctor or midwife about your current exercise level. He or she may want to increase your exercise. Your dietician may want to make changes to your gestational diabetes meal plan to accommodate extra carbohydrates prior to a workout.