Healthy Exercise Tips For Gestational Diabetes

Healthy Exercise Tips For Gestational Diabetes

exercise with gestational diabetesYou are probably aware that being healthy is more than just eating the right foods and following up with your doctor. Especially if you have gestational diabetes, you definitely have to do those things, but there is more to it. You also need to get some exercise.

Exercising when you are pregnant, especially in the third trimester, can be tricky business. But you can maintain a healthier pregnancy overall, if you incorporate some exercise with gestational diabetes and any pregnancy.

Exercise during pregnancy is important, but it is perhaps even more important when you have gestational diabetes. This is because exercise allows your body to burn off excess glucose without the use of medications. This helps keep blood sugar levels stable so you and your baby are safe and healthy.

Here are some rules to follow for exercise in each trimester of pregnancy. Of course, you should talk to your doctor before changing your diet, taking any supplements, or starting a new exercise regimen.

First Trimester

Unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, the first trimester is a great time to start a new exercise regimen. This is because you are not yet carrying a lot of extra baby weight and aerobic exercises are unlikely to hurt you or your baby. While you might be feeling a bit more tired than usual, many women do not yet even “notice” their pregnancy, and exercise can actually give you more energy.

Except in specific cases where your doctor says otherwise, there are not many restrictions as far as exercise in the first trimester, so you should be able to do just about anything.

Second Trimester

In the second trimester you might be finally starting to show, but you are likely past the morning sickness and fatigue of the first trimester. Unless told otherwise by your doctor, it is typically still safe to engage in higher impact exercises and activities.

Towards the end of the second trimester you might want to move towards lower impact exercises, but throughout the pregnancy just remember to listen to your body. If you are feeling faint, dizzy, nauseous, lower back pain or belly pain you should stop and take a break. A good rule of thumb is to watch your heart rate and stay 60% below your maximum heart rate.

Third Trimester

In the third trimester you are really starting to grow. Your balance might be thrown off by the extra weight of the baby, and you might experience more strain and fatigue when you exercise. Now is the time to start engaging in lower impact exercises.

Consider walking, light yoga, swimming, water aerobics, and self-resistance exercises such as wall push-ups. As usual, stop if you start to feel dizzy or faint or experience any pain. The second and third trimesters are not the time to push yourself too hard.

These tips and ideas should help you incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Getting regular exercise with gestational diabetes, is an important part of a healthy pregnancy.

For more information about exercise with gestational diabetes, click here.

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.

I Have Gestational Diabetes – Where Do I Start?

“I have gestational diabetes” can be a tremendously terrifying thought.  You want to cry, scream, yell and yet you don’t know what else to do.

Some common things you can do to help you get started on the right track with managing your gestational diabetes are great to start with, especially when you don’t know much to say past the initial “I have gestational diabetes“.

When you first learn that you have gestational diabetes, it’s very important to understand that it can be controlled well and you can deliver a healthy baby.  I have gestational diabetes does not have to be something said with trembling in your voice.  Let’s talk about the steps involved in managing and controlling gestational diabetes.

I have gestational diabetes” step one for control is to look at the types of sugar that you are eating.  You may drink a glass of juice or drink regular soda or even have a candy bar sometimes because of cravings.  Now that you have gestational diabetes that has to stop being a random thing, and it needs to be part of the total calories that you’re allowed to eat for the day as well as the amount of carbohydrate that you’re allowed to eat for the day.  Simple sugars easily go into your bloodstream and increase your blood sugar, and depending on how high the blood sugar goes it can transfer extra sugar to your baby through your placenta.  The amount of simple sugar in a food can be found by reading the label, under the area labeled carbohydrate.  There is a section called sugars that indicates the grams of simple sugars that are in the food.  Until you have the control of your gestational diabetes, you want to eat a minimal amount of simple sugars.

“I have gestational diabetes” step 2 for control is that you can make your diet better in many ways.  You should replace the sugary foods with healthier foods that are whole grain instead – higher fiber helps you feel full longer without increasing your blood sugars.  Whole-grain foods provide the amount of carbohydrate that you need without giving you extra simple sugars.  High-fiber foods break down more slowly in your digestive system, allowing your body to absorb the carbohydrate in them at a slower pace and therefore deal with the increase in blood sugar over time.  Initially, you want to avoid more of the white foods that, although they are complex carbohydrates, tend to break down quickly and increase your blood sugar as much as a candy bar.  Start eating whole fruits and vegetables as well as whole-wheat bread instead of juices and plain white bread.

“I have gestational diabetes” step 3 for control starts with distributing your calories throughout the day by eating 3 small meals and 3 snacks if you can.  This helps your body to use insulin properly and manage your hunger and your blood sugar.  Most women need to balance their calories out to a 40-50% carbohydrate diet, 30% fat and the rest as protein.  At breakfast, you may want to eat a protein and a complex carbohydrate.  This might be something like a piece of ham and whole-wheat toast.  For snacks, you should try to combine a carbohydrate and protein food as well. Lunch and dinner meals may be a little larger and need to have a combination of fat, protein and carbohydrate to make you feel full and get your needed calories.

You may not realize it, but while you’re pregnant, you probably need to consume around 2000 calories a day.  Using these steps to control your gestational diabetes will help you start off in the right direction to controlling your blood sugars and having a healthy pregnancy.

“I have gestational diabetes” may be the first thought you have, but you can get more help with a gestational diabetes meal plan that includes all the needed steps and ways to manage your diet to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.  Click here to find out more about our gestational diabetes meal plans.