How can you lower the risk of developing gestational diabetes?
1. Eat healthy
2. Be physically active
3. Keep your weight under control
Before you get your hands on medicines for diabetes, it’s best to be informed of what particular ways can help prevent the risks of gestational diabetes.
As discussed in the previous article, gestational diabetes is the abnormal increase of sugar in the blood that occurs at a certain stage of a woman’s pregnancy, which may also disappear after giving birth. However, as also mentioned, the cause of gestational diabetes is unclear. Thus, there’s no guarantee in prevention – only that a woman can lower the risk through a change in habits.
Among the recommended healthy practices in lowering the risk of gestational diabetes includes the following:
A way to keep your pregnancy out of risk is through eating healthy. You can always ask your doctor to help you create a diet that can help maintain your sugar at a healthy level. More so, aside from the food that you eat, it is also important that you practice healthy eating habits such as the ideal meal portions and timing to avoid excessive eating.
Ideally, your diet will contain lesser sweets, minimal carbohydrate, and a high amount of fiber intake. Why fiber? Fiber alone helps reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. According to a study, a daily increase in fiber, preferably 10 grams, reduces the risk of the said diabetes by 26%. Commonly, fiber may be found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Additionally, in order to meet the amount recommended for fiber intake, you may take fiber supplements that are approved by your doctor.
Aside from eating healthy, keeping an active lifestyle can also help lower the risk of gestational diabetes. Generally, exercises like walking, swimming, yoga, and riding a bike can help should your condition allow it.
For a start, you can try a 30-minute moderate exercise a day. Some of which may include:
- A brisk walk
- A few swim laps
- Riding a bike
Furthermore, according to WebMD, a study showed that “Women who are physically active before and during their pregnancy, for about four hours a week, have lowered their risk of developing gestational diabetes by about 70% or more.”
Keep a healthy weight
Often times, the same risk factors for gestational diabetes may also lead to type 2 diabetes. Thus, weight gain should be observed.
As doctors recommend, weight loss should be done before and not during pregnancy, as losing excess pounds can help ensure a healthier pregnancy.
Moreover, it will be better to follow the same diet and exercise plan even after giving birth to keep your health in check.
Given that gestational diabetes has unclear causes and symptoms, preventive measures should be adopted by women. Not only will they be able to avoid the consequences of developing gestational diabetes, but also the risks of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Equipped with the knowledge about gestational diabetes, you will be able to have a healthier pregnancy and ensure that your baby’s healthy not only after delivery, but also, later in life.
More so, it is best to visit a doctor to help you with, should you plan to get pregnant in the near future. As always, prevention is better than cure.