Exercise During Pregnancy

excerising during pregnancy Getting plenty of exercise is important to keep your body strong and healthy. This is true for daily life, and it is also true during pregnancy as well. Many women feel that they should not exercise while they are pregnant, or that exercise is unsafe during pregnancy, but this is not true.

Pregnancy means that you might need to modify your usual exercise routine, but you are certainly still able to exercise. In fact, it is recommended. Just like everyone else, pregnant women are recommended to get about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day. The only thing that changes is the intensity and types of exercises that are recommended.
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Can I Breast Feed My Baby If I Had Gestational Diabetes?

breastfeeding

breastfeeding (Photo credit: sdminor81)

Breastfeeding is one of the most important things that a mom has to do after giving birth to her baby. Milk coming from the mother’s breasts is rich in nutrients that can help the baby grow strong during his or her first months of life. However, mothers suffering from gestational diabetes during pregnancy often wonder whether it is safe for them to breastfeed their babies or not. Even though gestational diabetes stops right after pregnancy, mothers often worry about the possibility of passing their condition to their newborn babies. Hence, one of the dilemmas that they have is whether to breastfeed or not.

I breastfed both my children – first I pumped because they were preemies, but later breastfed at home and pumped to keep the supply up.  It is a very important part of taking care of a newborn or preemie, and I encourage you to breastfeed.

To Breastfeed or Not to Breastfeed?

The answer to the aforementioned question is pretty simple. If you want your baby to grow healthy, then you should breastfeed your baby. If you don’t want to breastfeed your baby, using formula is also acceptable, as whatever formula your doctor recommends will contain healthy nutrients to help your baby grow. Breastfeeding is best, especially if your child has allergies or is delivered early, but you have the choice.

Having GDM is not a hindrance to breastfeeding. It will not have any impact on your ability to breastfeed your child. In fact, breastfeeding is highly encouraged, if not sorely needed, by the newborn. A baby borne of a mother with GDM is at risk of developing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar after birth because of the pancreas’ continuous production of insulin as conditioned inside the womb of the mother. Hence, early breastfeeding within 30 minutes to one hour after birth is needed to maintain the normal blood glucose levels in your baby’s body. Moreover, because of the nutrients that can be found in breast milk, you are actually lowering the risk of you baby’s incurring diabetes later on in life.

How Important is Breastfeeding?

It is often said that breastfeeding is best for babies up to two years of age. That is because breast milk contains many nutrients that can be beneficial to your baby not just for the time being but also later in his or her life. Breast milk contains antibodies that help protect your baby against illnesses during his or her first few months of life. This prevents the baby from getting colds, gastroenteritis, and infections, in which he or she is very prone to because of the immature immune system that the baby has right after birth.

Allergies like eczema and asthma are also prevented by breastfeeding. Contrary to popular belief, breast milk can also help reduce the risk of diabetes, leukemia, and other types of cancer later in life, regardless whether the mom had gestational diabetes or not.

Breastfeeding also has a couple of advantages for the mother. Constant breastfeeding can help you lose the weight that you gained during your pregnancy. In fact, continuing breastfeeding beyond six months is a great way to naturally control your weight. It also has long-term benefits, such as reducing your risk of developing cancer and osteoporosis. Hence, breastfeeding is not only good for the baby, but also for the mother.

If you are worried about breastfeeding and gestational diabetes, learn more about gestational diabetes in general by signing up for our newsletter and getting great information to help you understand how your body works.

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What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For The OGTT?

What Are The Blood Sugar Levels For The OGTT?

How Does The Doctor Diagnose Gestational Diabetes?

OGTTMonitoring one’s blood sugar levels in gestational diabetes (GDM) is essential. To be able to diagnose gestational diabetes in a pregnant woman, it is not enough to only rely on the physical manifestations, such as blurring of vision, increased thirst, increased appetite, and increased urination. The woman also has to undergo glucose screening tests in order to prove that she is really suffering from gestational diabetes. One of the tests that are being done on women to finalize their diagnosis of gestational diabetes is the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).

What is OGTT?

OGTT determines the amount of sugar or glucose present in the blood at a given time. In this test, the woman has to fast for at least eight hours before the test. A blood sample will be taken to measure the woman’s normal fasting blood glucose level. Afterwards, she will be asked to drink a liquid with around 75 grams of glucose in it. 30 minutes after finishing the solution, her blood sample will be taken once again. Three more blood extractions will be done every hour for the succeeding three hours, hence the test will last for approximately 3 hours. The values derived from the OGTT will determine whether a pregnant woman has gestational diabetes or not.

Normal and abnormal values

As a general rule, the normal value of the fasting blood sugar should be between 60-100 mg/dl. Anything higher than that is a candidate for gestational diabetes. The 1-hour sample should yield less than 180 mg/dl in order to be considered normal. As for the 2-hour sample, abnormal values are 155 mg/dl and above. For the sample for the third hour, 140 mg/dl and higher are already considered diabetic.

If only one of the readings is abnormal, this does not automatically mean that the woman is already diabetic. Another OGTT might be needed later on in the pregnancy. The doctor might also advise her to make some modifications in her diet and physical activities.

However, if two or more readings are interpreted as abnormal, they are already conclusive enough to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Factors affecting OGTT

There are several things that might yield false results in the OGTT. Some of these are:

  • Medications, such as phenytoin, and corticosteroids. You should consult your doctor first before having an OGTT while taking the aforementioned drugs.
  • Acute stress
  • Heavy exercise

What should I do if I am diagnosed with GDM?

The important thing in GDM is to control the blood sugar level and keep it within the normal limits so as to prevent any complications from arising. This can be achieved through proper diet and exercise. Diet should include moderate fats and proteins, complex carbohydrates, and less sugar. Exercise is also important to use up excess glucose during pregnancy. It is also essential to visit the health care provider to monitor not only the condition of the mother, but also of the baby.

Take a moment and check out my book on gestational diabetes, and if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes you can get more great information and meal plans for your condition.

To learn more about gestational diabetes, you can sign up for our mailing list and keep yourself updated with all the information you need in managing the condition.  Enter your name and email in the box below and we will send you 3 dinner meals and an ebook about how gestational diabetes can be managed.

 

 

Brand New Book Released For Women In Need Of Gestational Diabetes Meal Plans On Amazon

ogttMathea Ford announces the release of her third book on Amazon, entitled “Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars & Weight Gain“. The book provides a resource for the newly diagnosed mom.

Oklahoma City, OK (I-Newswire) January 19, 2013 – Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ and CEO Mathea Ford, RD/LD announces the launch of her third book “Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars and Weight Gain”. Her book is available now in print form via Amazon. This book describes best practices for diets and meal planning for gestational diabetes and includes full meal patterns and recipes for the duration of the pregnancy. Mathea spent two years gathering the information and formulating the meal plan recipes for the bulk of this book and she is very grateful to all the friends and family that made the book possible including her fine group of employees at Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC.

Currently the book is priced at a very reasonable rate and is appropriate for those in need of information related to gestational diabetes diet meal plans. When asked about how this book will help newly diagnosed women, Mathea stated, “When women have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes and are in need of some assistance in meal planning, the book teaches them how to manage a gestational diabetes diet meal plan with the ultimate goal a healthy pregnancy and a health baby.” In addition, Mathea talked about how the new health care laws will make it more likely for women to be diagnosed and in need of help finding their way, stating, “With the changes to the Affordable Health Care Act this is a timely launch as with the new plan year of 2013 we expect the diagnoses of gestational diabetes to increase with in the parameters of the Act.” Having gone through a pregnancy with gestational diabetes, Mathea feels her experiences can help new moms manage the tough road ahead and come out with a healthy and enjoyable experience when using a meal plan. Her book can be found at amazon by clicking this link: Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars & Weight Gain

Brought to you by Healthy Diet Menus for You, LLC, Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ specializes in gestational diabetes diets and meal planning. The Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ website provides valuable information for all types of diabetic pregnant patients through an extensive information library of articles and a fully functional blog written by the CEO and Registered Dietitian, Mathea Ford. Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ is committed to bringing the utmost quality and service to it is client base through it’s website and toll free phone number. Specializing in this very complicated and unique group of patients, Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ is proud to be a superb resource that can be relied upon by it’s clients to meet the demands that our client’s desire.

Gestational Diabetic Diet HQ is operated by Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and is operated by the principals Mathea Ford RD/LD MBA and Chief Executive Officer and Donovan Ford, Chief Operations Officer. Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC was launched in January 2011 as the brain child of Mathea Ford who is also currently serving as CEO. Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC provides meal plans for diabetic, gestational diabetic, renal, renal diabetic and cardiac patients.

 

About Healthy Diet Menus for You, LLC:
Healthy Diet Menus for You provides people with set weekly menus. Each menu is specifically targeted towards particular health requirements. Save time by subscribing to our easy to use menu plans.

Company Contact Information
Healthy Diet Menus for You, LLC
Mathea Ford
PO Box 6554
73153

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

What Is Gestational Diabetes?

What is Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, which develops during pregnancy, is a condition that affects how the body’s cells use glucose. Those who develop gestational diabetes may experience high blood sugar, which affects the health of both mother and baby. Fortunately, this condition can be controlled and blood sugar returns to normal after the child is delivered.

Symptoms Of Gestational Diabetes In Moms

In most cases of gestational diabetes, no obvious symptoms are present. Although no symptoms occur, tests are administered to all expectant mothers to check for elevated blood sugar levels. Many doctors would recommend that any woman wanting to become pregnant should see a professional in order to evaluate the risk of developing gestational diabetes. For those who do not choose to do so, checking for gestational diabetes is part of routine prenatal care at about 24 weeks. Expectant mothers who develop this condition can easily learn to manage their blood sugar with the help of healthy eating, exercise and in some cases medication.

Risk Factors

Although any woman can develop gestational diabetes, some are at a higher risk than others are.

Risk factors of developing gestational diabetes are:

Pre-diabetes: slightly elevated blood sugar.
Carrying excess weight: Being significantly overweight increases the chances of developing gestational diabetes
Those older than 25 years of age
Those who are not Caucasian: Although the reason remains unknown, women who are not Caucasian in race have a higher risk of developing this condition.

Mothers with gestational diabetes have a high chance of delivering healthy babies but complications are still possible.

Complications that of gestational diabetes that affect the child include:

Hypoglycemia: Babies of mothers with gestational diabetes can develop hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar.
Preterm birth: Mother’s with high blood sugar may go into labor early and deliver the child before the due date. Doctors may also recommend early delivery if the baby is growing too large.
Excessive birth weight: Extra glucose in the mother’s bloodstream can trigger their baby to grow too large too quickly. This is a result of the baby’s pancreas making excess insulin
Jaundice: Although not a huge concern, jaundice should be monitored carefully.

Mothers with gestational diabetes can also experience serious complications.

These complications are:

Pre-eclampsia
Eclampsia
Diabetes

Overall, gestational diabetes is a condition that should be taken seriously. Although there is a risk of complications that can affect both mother and child, it can be easily managed. In most cases, a great meal plan can control the condition and keep both mother and baby is good health. Eating right is a crucial step to controlling gestational diabetes.

Learn more about what is gestational diabetes by getting my FREE EBOOK and my newsletter on this page!

Learn more about our gestational diabetes meal plans at our informational page – Click here to learn more!

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms: Do You Have Them?

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms: Do You Have Them?

What is Gestational Diabetes?gestational diabetes symptoms

This is a specific type of diabetes that occurs in women during pregnancy. Basically, it is caused by hormones that occur during pregnancy that block insulin from doing its job in breaking down blood sugar. This leads to a condition of diabetes that a woman may have when pregnant, and usually clears up once the child is born.

Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes

The symptoms that will be experienced are much the same as with diabetes in general. You can have an increase in thirst. There will also be an increase in the frequency of urination that is disproportional to the amount of liquids that are consumed. Fatigue will set in with occasional blurred vision. Nausea and weight loss can also be symptoms of gestational diabetes. Many of these symptoms can be mild and easily confused with the effects of being pregnant.

Risk Factors for Gestational Diabetes

The symptoms alone are not enough to indicate a problem. In fact, because they are often so mild, they usually mean nothing, but when accompanied by risk factors, your health care provider needs to be informed. Among these factors are having diabetes in your family, being overweight before your pregnancy and having high blood pressure. A doctor can look at your medical history to determine what other factors may be applicable to your pregnancy.

Why Treatment is Needed for Gestational Diabetes

For the sake of the child as well as the mother, this type of diabetes needs to be controlled. Doctors will usually test pregnant women by the 24th week.  Without a diagnosis and treatment, a woman can give birth to a baby that is much larger than it would normally have been with complications. In many cases, the baby will not be able to be born vaginally. This increase in size is due to the high levels of sugar in the mother’s blood. This provides much greater energy than a baby requires for normal growth. A baby will often have a condition of low blood sugar levels after birth. This is due to the baby’s pancreas producing high levels of insulin in response to the mother’s blood sugar, then at birth the amount of sugar in the child’s blood is suddenly low so they need additional sugar water or breastmilk at birth.

The Fundamental Treatment for Gestational Diabetes

There are several treatments used to control gestational diabetes, but fundamental to all of them is with diet. In fact, with a proper diet and monitoring of your blood sugar, most women can keep the problem under control. In general, a diet that is low to moderate in both fat and protein is needed. Carbohydrates are obtained from fruits and whole grains. All food with sugar is avoided or completely eliminated such as soda pop, candy, donuts and other sugary snacks.

gestational diabetes symptomsThere are medications that can be prescribed to a pregnant woman to keep her blood sugar levels from getting too high, but these should not be used to control high blood sugar levels that come from eating the wrong foods. It is much healthier for you and your baby to eat right to begin with.

You can learn more about a gestational diabetes diet from our meal planning solution that is a kit put together to guide you through your gestational diabetes and help you improve your health.  Click here to find out more.

Gestational Diabetes Treatment: What Are The Guidelines? Part 1

Now that you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes based on the glucose tolerance test, what should you do?

Your gestational diabetes treatment is based on clinical guidelines that tell your obstetrician how to manage your blood sugars and keep you as healthy as possible!

The treatment uses 3 different types of controls to get your blood sugars where they need to be for your health and the safety of your baby.

When managing your treatment of gestational diabetes, some interventions are more complicated than others.  Most doctors typically start with trying to control your blood sugars using a diet and exercise plan that can keep your blood sugars under control most of the time.  Never forget, your pregnant body is full of hormones, and sometimes it does not react the way that would be expected.  During the management of gestational diabetes, what is of the utmost importance is the health of the baby and mom, not necessarily if you have to take medication or not.  It’s a short time that you will need to tightly manage your eating and blood sugars, so grin and bear it!

Most gestational diabetes treatment starts with dietary control.  It’s important that a mom be provided with some nutritional guidelines that are individualized based on what she needs.  If she is a vegetarian, the meal plan that is provided by the professional should reflect ways to get the needed protein, carbohydrate and fat without the animal proteins that mom has chosen to avoid.  Most moms see either a certified diabetes educator (nurse or dietitian) or a registered dietitian who can provide them with calorie levels and guidance about what foods to eat and how much.  Many women may find this to be enough information and be able to successfully navigate the foods that they need to eat and grow a healthy baby.  Sometimes, more information is needed, and some women may choose to purchase a gestational diabetes meal plan that can help them understand all of their options.  Either way, mom will start with eating the right amounts of carbohydrate at meals.

Often, pregnant women with diabetes find that their blood sugar is affected by foods in different ways.  Sometimes, a fruit can cause a spike in blood sugars, while other foods such as ice cream seem to allow for a smooth transition without a blood sugar spike.  It is important to track what you eat, how much and when as well as you check your blood sugars.  This will help you and your doctor understand what parts of the day and what foods are most affecting you.  It’s going to be different for every woman, as our bodies have different responses to hormones that are peaking during pregnancy.

How many calories should you eat for your gestational diabetes treatment plan?

For women who are not over weight before pregnancy, it is recommended to eat 30 calories/kg/day.  1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds, so divide your weight in pounds by 2.2, then take that number and multiply by 30.  For example, if you weighed 150 pounds that is 68.18 kilograms.  So you would estimate your calorie needs at about 2045 per day.  Women who are over weight should multiply by 25 calories/kg/day.  As long as your baby is growing and your blood sugars are under control, you should be okay with the amount of food you are eating during your gestational diabetes treatment.

The next step that many doctors also recommend in combination with diet control is exercise.  While you probably were exercising during your pregnancy, exercise in small bursts throughout the day can help a mom control her blood sugars well.  After every meal, it will be important to take a 15 minute walk at a quick pace to lower your blood sugar. Exercise causes your body to use the sugar in your blood more effectively, and you can decrease your spike by adding in a burst of exercise a few times a day.  This also gives you health benefits by controlling the weight gain and improving your aerobic capacity.  That will come in handy during labor.  Check with your doctor if you are concerned about exercise, but it’s one of the best ways to lower blood sugar without using insulin.

In our next post we will talk about the medications that are used to manage gestational diabetes treatment and how they work.

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Gestational Diabetes Complications – Learn about the 5 Most Common Complications During Pregnancy [Are You at Risk?]

During your pregnancy, with every visit to your doctor you grow more excited about having a new baby.  You may have a few worries, but with gestational diabetes, you can have more complications than normal.  Being aware of what the complications are can help you recognize when they may be occurring and call your doctor if necessary.

One of the most common of the gestational diabetes complications is having a larger than normal baby.  This puts you as the mom more likely to gain too much weight.  When your blood sugar is continually high as is the case with uncontrolled gestational diabetes, your baby’s blood sugar is also high.  The baby grows larger than normal because it is getting excess calories and its body puts those extra calories into fat storage.

Another of the most common gestational diabetes complications is having to have a C-section.  At delivery, if the baby is too large, you may be unable to have a regular birth.  C-sections can cost more money because they are an actual operation.  They also increase the recovery time for mom to an average of 6 weeks.  With the new baby, recovering from a C-section can be difficult.

Thirdly, more important gestational diabetes complications can arise related to high blood pressure, which can also lead to preeclampsia.  Preeclampsia is usually shown by swelling in your hands and feet it will go away and excess protein in your urine tests which indicates kidney damage.  High blood pressure could eventually lead to seizures.  Women with gestational diabetes or diabetes during pregnancy tend to have high blood pressure more often.

Hypoglycemia is part of multifaceted group of gestational diabetes complications and can lead to a great number of problems.  Your obstetrician may place you on insulin or another medication to help you control your blood sugars to help reduce further complications.  If you happen to forget to eat but have taken your insulin for the day or the meal, your blood sugar might get dangerously low.  It’s important to check your blood sugar throughout the day as recommended by your doctor.

Finally, developing diabetes later in life is one of the most common gestational diabetes complications.  Women who have gestational diabetes during their pregnancy are at twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years.  A great way to reduce your risk is through controlling your gestational diabetes and periodically having checkups where your doctor monitors your blood sugar levels about every 3 years.

If you follow a healthy meal plan and eat on a regular basis throughout the day, you can avoid, or at least reduce the risk of many of the complications associated with gestational diabetes.  Learning more about the disease can help you control these gestational diabetes complications, read more in our email series.  Go there now and sign up for more information.