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Managing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus
  • Arati Shah

  • 09, Nov. 2020

Managing Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, refers to diabetes mellitus for the duration of pregnancy. For a positive pregnancy outcome, good maternal health is of utmost importance. There are many changes that a woman’s body goes through in pregnancy and insulin resistance is one of them. Most women can overcome it normally by producing sufficient insulin, but some cannot and they develop gestational diabetes. In these women, online dietitian programs being offered by clinical nutritionists can help manage the sugar levels through their pregnancy. The gestational diabetes rate in India is 26.3% which is the highest in the world.  

What is the impact of gestational diabetes mellitus? 

Gestational diabetes mellitus has immediate maternal and neonatal outcomes. With this it also increases the risk of both the mother and baby developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Proper management of gestational diabetes mellitus reduces perinatal complications.  

Therefore, women who test positive for gestational diabetes mellitus are started on medical nutrition therapy and an exercise program. If the medical nutrition therapy fails to control the sugar levels then, medication is started.  

Advice to control gestational diabetes mellitus: 

  1. Blood sugar can be better managed with the kind of carbohydrates that are consumed. Carbohydrates coming from whole grain cereals and millets like whole wheat products, brown rice, buckwheat, whole oats, barley, bajra, jowar, amaranth help in better glucose control. Combine these carbs either with protein or healthy fats. Also, it is advised to eat small amounts of carbs at a time rather than large amounts at a time. 

  1. Protein rich foods like beans, lentils, unsweetened milk and milk products, cooked eggs and lean meat along with the healthy carbs help in the better management of sugar levels. Try to include protein in every meal, both plant and animal proteins as requirements increase for fetal growth. 

  1. Saturated fat intake should be less than 10% of total dietary intake. In case the mother to be is over weight or obese, low total fat intake is advised to slow the rate of weight gain. Choose the healthy fats coming from nuts, seeds, avocados, etc. Prefer low fat snacks like baked or steamed foods, fruits, salads instead of high fat snacks like pastries, fried foods, cookies, etc. 

  1. High fiber foods help in better control of blood sugar. Green vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, can be helpful here.  

  1. Restrict starchy foods like potatoes, white rice, white bread, sago and refined flour products. 

  1. Jaggery, honey and sugary foods like cakes, pastries, candy, biscuits, chocolates, ice creams, soft drinks are to be avoided.  

 With this, regular exercise will help in managing sugar better. Consulting with your physician before starting with an exercise program is essential. Indians based out of India can seek the guidance of dietitians in Mumbai or diabetes nutrition or the best diet for diabetics during pregnancy for someone with gestational diabetes mellitus. Your baby’s health depends on yours.