Monitor Blood Sugar Level Regularly
In order to reduce the risk of complications from gestational diabetes, it is important to keep a close eye on your blood sugar level.
Check your fasting and postprandial (post-meal) blood sugar levels several times each day.
monitor blood sugar
You’ll need a diabetes kit that includes needles to prick your finger, test strips and a little machine called a meter that reads your blood sugar.
After pricking your finger, squeeze a drop of the blood onto a test strip and insert it into the meter. Within a few seconds, the machine will display your sugar level. Check with your health insurance company to see if it will pay some or all of the cost of the kit.
Check your blood sugar level first thing in the morning to get your fasting rate and then two hours after eating your first meal. Also, check your blood sugar level an hour after you eat each subsequent meal to make sure your blood sugar stays in a healthy range.
Your fasting blood sugar level should be less than 95 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), while your two-hour postprandial blood sugar goal should be less than 120 mg/dL. Your one-hour postprandial blood sugar goal should be less than 130 mg/dL.
If your sugar level is high, consult your doctor immediately.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
It’s very important to eat a healthy breakfast. Skipping breakfast is a big NO for pregnant women.
Not eating anything for several hours can make it difficult to control your blood sugar level in the morning because of fluctuations in hormone levels.
eat healthy breakfast
On the other hand, eating a good breakfast can help regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the morning. A low glycemic index breakfast that consists of starch plus protein is a good option.
Porridge, oatmeal, eggs, whole-grain cereals and low-fat yogurt are good choices. Another good option is to drink a glass of spinach juice daily for breakfast.
Refined cereals, white bread, fruits and even milk should be avoided in the morning meal.
Eat the Right Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are an important part of any kind of diabetes diet, including GDM. Carbohydrates provide the fuel for your body and for your growing baby.
But before including carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet, it is important to remember that not all carbohydrates are beneficial.
eat right carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates break down to more valuable forms of sugar, which are harder to digest. These carbohydrates have less impact on the insulin fluctuations in the body. Hence, when suffering from gestational diabetes, eat more complex carbohydrates to help manage your blood sugar levels.
Complex carbohydrates are found in foods like peas, legumes, beans, oats, quinoa, okra, carrots and whole grains.
At the same time, avoid simple carbohydrates found in white bread and empty carbohydrates found in junk food completely during the pregnancy period.
Make sure to spread out your carbohydrate intake over your meals and snacks throughout the day.
Eat High-Fiber Foods
To keep your blood sugar level normal, it is important to increase your fiber intake. Fiber stimulates the activity of insulin receptors and inhibits the release of excess insulin into the bloodstream, thus helping to balance the blood sugar level.
Fiber-rich foods also tend to have a low glycemic index.
eat high fiber foods
In fact, fiber should be a part of your regular diet anyways, due to its key digestive and cardiovascular benefits for your health.
A 2006 study published in Diabetes Care suggested that a woman’s prepregnancy diet might be associated with her GDM risk. In particular, a diet with low fiber and high glycemic load was associated with an increased risk.
Eat foods high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Such foods include fresh low glycemic index fruit and vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, and dried peas, beans and pulses.