Diabetes Diet Pregnancy

Making the changes to your diabetes diet pregnancy brings, will depend on if you already had diabetes before you became pregnant or if you have developed gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is a short-term condition that afflicts pregnant women of any age and any stage in pregnancy, but usually goes away once the baby is born. The symptoms are the same as type 1 or 2 diabetes, but the change in hormones and increased demand for glucose from the baby might be the cause.

Diabetes and Your Baby

Diabetes PregnancyTo help you have a healthy pregnancy and delivering a baby normally, getting your diabetes diet pregnancy right will be essential. Being pregnant with diabetes can cause the following complications:

  • Birthing difficulties – Gestational diabetes can cause the fetus to receive much less blood sugar than normal, which may mean that your baby is born prematurely or with a much smaller birth weight than average.
  • Type 1 diabetes – Type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetics and varying sugar levels during pregnancy. While your child may not show signs or symptoms of type 1 for a few years, it generally hits before they reach 10 and will require medication and attention for the rest of their lives.
  • General health – Your baby tends to take what it needs from your body, regardless of whether you have surplus. This is why many women take multi-vitamin tablets, and why many pregnant women with diabetes are more susceptible to long term health risks like heart disease and vision failure.

Eating Right

Your diabetes diet pregnancy should be a combination of the food that you would normally eat to control your blood sugar levels and eating the right selection of foods for your baby. A few tips for your diabetes diet pregnancy include:

  • Eat the same amount – The common misconception of pregnancy is that it acts as a carte blanche for you to eat what you want when you want. In actual fact, even at the end of pregnancy the baby only requires an additional 200 calories per day. Eating more than this will make you put on weight, which can be a large risk factor for both pregnancy and diabetes.
  • Maintain a steady blood sugar level – The cravings that come with pregnancy are unpredictable and vary from woman to woman. They can leave people unable to eat anything other than sweet food, but you will need to find a way of eating more carbohydrates and fiber to help balance your glucose levels. This could come from foods like oats or rice in sweeter foods like oatmeal or rice pudding.

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  • Find alternative sources of calcium – The creation of a whole set of new bones in your womb requires an incredible amount of calcium and your baby will leech it from your bones and teeth if you don’t take enough calcium on board. However, milk is high in lactose which is a form of blood sugar so drinking or eating too many dairy products can cause your levels to spike. You can find calcium in dark green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds and figs.
  • Eat breakfast – Many women will suffer from morning sickness during the early stages of pregnancy and the thought of eating may not be appealing. However, your blood sugars are most likely to be out of shape after a night of fasting, so you’ll need to find some way of getting some calories on board when you wake up. Some women find that eating a slice of bread or a dry cracker before they get out of bed is a great part of a diabetes diet pregnancy as it can help beat morning sickness.

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