Pregnancy and Gestational Diabetes (cont.)
When using insulin, a "low blood glucose reaction," or hypoglycemia, can occur if you do not eat enough food, skip a meal, do not eat at the right time of day, or if you exercise more than usual.
Symptoms of hypoglycemia include:
Hypoglycemia is a serious problem that needs to be treated right away. If you think you are having a low blood sugar reaction, check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is less than 60 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter), eat a sugar-containing food, such as 1/2 cup of orange or apple juice; 1 cup of skim milk; 4-6 pieces of hard candy (not sugar-free); 1/2 cup regular soft drink; or 1 tablespoon of honey, brown sugar, or corn syrup. Fifteen minutes after eating one of the foods listed above, check your blood sugar. If it is still less than 60 mg/dL, eat another one of the food choices above. If it is more than 45 minutes until your next meal, eat a bread and protein source to prevent another reaction.
Record all low blood sugar reactions in your log book, including the date, time of day the reaction occurred and how you treated it.
How Will My Diet Change With Gestational Diabetes?
If you have gestational diabetes, follow these diet tips:
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:
Pregnancy Weight Gain
The recommended amount of weight gain during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight, whether there is more than one fetus, and the trimester. Typically more weight gain is expected during the second and third trimester and recommended intakes of calories should increase at that time.
Gaining the right amount of weight during pregnancy by eating a healthy, balanced diet is a good sign that your baby is getting all the nutrients he or she needs and is growing at a healthy rate.
It is not necessary to "eat for two" during pregnancy. It's true that you need extra calories from nutrient-rich foods to help your baby grow, but you generally need to consume only 200 to 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant to meet the needs of your growing baby.
Ask your health care provider how much weight you should gain during pregnancy. A woman of average weight before pregnancy can expect to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. You may need to gain more or less weight, depending on what your doctor recommends.
In general, you should gain about 2-4 pounds during your first 3 months of pregnancy and 1 pound a week for the remainder of your pregnancy.