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A Gestational Diabetes Diet Plan Reduces Your Childs Risk of Diabetes

If you suffer from gestational diabetes while you are pregnant, a dangerously high level of sugar may pass from your blood to  your baby. This can significantly increase your baby’s risk of developing diabetes later in life. Paying attention to diabetes nutrition and following a healthy gestational diabetes diet can limit this risk by controlling your blood sugar level and preventing too much sugar being passed to your developing child.

Another reason to control the amount of sugar your baby receives in the womb is to prevent them growing overly large.  This can cause pregnancy complications and difficulties with delivery.  Controlling your blood sugar through a gestational diabetes diet plan can reduce the likelihood of you having a caesarean section or experiencing birth complications.

What is gestational diabetes ? 

Some women develop gestational diabetes whilst they are pregnant because their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to meet the needs of their growing baby.  As with vitamins and minerals, a mother’s body will always cater for the baby’s insulin needs first, leaving her with too little insulin to control her own blood sugar level. Pregnancy hormones can make the problem worse by limiting the mother’s ability to produce insulin.  

Gestational diabetes is not permanent, and will usually correct itself once the baby is born. It does, however, increase the mother’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.  Following a good gestational diabetes diet plan is crucial for the wellbeing of both mother and baby, and will reduce the risk of the mother developing permanent diabetes. 

Ask a professional to help you with your gestational diabetes diet

There is no one gestational diabetes diet plan that will work for all women, so it is important that you consult a specialist to get the right diet for you.  Nutritionist Bridget Swinney says:

“I strongly recommend you see a registered dietician who can create a diet particularly suited for you, based on your weight, height, physical activity, and the needs of your growing baby, as well as your level of glucose intolerance.”

A dietician will also take into account the foods that you like and dislike.  Following a strict diet plan during pregnancy, when cravings, morning sickness and hunger pangs can easily take control, is never easy.  Creating a flexible diet plan based on foods you enjoy will make controlling your blood sugar much easier.  You can even include specialist treats such as diabetic chocolates for days when the cravings cannot be ignored. 

Here are some ways to ensure your baby does not get too much sugar

  • Most pregnancy books will recommend fruit juice and flavoured teas, but these should be limited in your gestational diabetes diet plan.   They release sugar into the bloodstream very quickly, and can increase your blood sugar level dramatically.
  • Developing babies need a good source of calcium, but if you have gestational diabetes you should limit your milk intake to two glasses per day.  Milk contains a lot of lactose, a simple sugar that will rapidly increase your blood sugar.  Try low fat cheeses and calcium enriched cereals instead.
  • Eat small meals and snacks during the day rather three big meals that will suddenly raise your blood sugar levels.  Towards the end of your pregnancy you may find eating smaller meals more comfortable anyway. 
  • Your blood sugar levels can be very irregular in the morning, so even if you have morning sickness you should not be tempted to skip breakfast.


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