Gestational Diabetes (cont.)
How Will My Diet Change With Gestational Diabetes?
If you have gestational diabetes, follow these
- Eat three small meals and two or three snacks at regular times every day. Do not skip meals or snacks. Carbohydrates should be 40%-45% of the total calories with breakfast and a bedtime snack containing 15-30 grams of carbohydrates.
- If you have morning sickness, eat 1-2 servings of crackers, cereal, or pretzels before getting out of bed. Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day and avoid fatty, fried, and greasy foods. If you take insulin and have morning sickness, make sure you know how to treat low blood sugar.
- Choose foods high in
fiber such as whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables. All pregnant women should eat 20-35 grams of fiber a day.
- Fats should be less than 40% of calories with less than 10% consumed being from saturated fats.
- Drink at least 8 cups (or 64 ounces) of liquids per day.
- Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet. Ask your health care provider about taking a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement to meet the nutritional needs of your pregnancy.
How Much Exercise Is Safe for Gestational Diabetes?
Regular exercise during pregnancy can improve your posture and decrease some common discomforts such as
backaches and fatigue. Being fit during pregnancy means safe, mild to moderate exercise at least three times a week. But, regardless of gestational diabetes, every pregnant woman should consult with her health care provider before beginning an exercise program. He or she can give you personal exercise guidelines, based on your medical history.
Since both insulin and exercise lower blood sugar, you should follow these additional exercise guidelines to avoid a low blood glucose reaction:
- Always carry some form of sugar with you when exercising, such as glucose tablets or hard candy.
- Eat one serving of fruit or the equivalent of 15 grams of carbohydrate for most activities lasting 30 minutes. If you exercise right after a meal, eat this snack after exercise. If you exercise 2 hours or more after a meal, eat the snack before exercise.
Reviewed on 5/15/2012
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