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Gestational Diabetes

What is Gestational Diabetes? 

Gestational diabetes (GD) is a type of diabetes that may be diagnosed during pregnancy when too much sugar (also known as glucose) remains in your blood instead of being used for energy. In pregnancy, the placenta increases hormone levels, and this can interfere with insulin, which is the hormone our body produces to help keep our sugars stable. In some women, the body cannot make enough insulin to prevent the blood sugar levels from going up. 

I was diagnosed with GD, what do I do now? 

While being diagnosed with GD can feel overwhelming, it is important to know that you did not do anything wrong and that you can still have a healthy pregnancy with proper care. Managing your blood sugar is key! Your medical team will give you diet and care instructions for your GD management. 

What should I eat? 

It is important to know which foods contain carbohydrates (sugar). There are foods that have naturally occurring sugars and may be found in Milk, starchy foods (I.e rice, noodles, pasta, bread, tortillas, potatoes, corn), and fruits. Refined carbohydrates are more concentrated in sugars and can have a higher impact on your sugar readings, these include things like desserts, cookies, chips & sugary beverages. The idea is to eat a moderate amount of carbohydrates in a day from naturally occurring carbohydrates, you do not want to eliminate them entirely. Sugars are digested slower when adding protein, fiber and healthy fats to your meals and snacks. Examples of protein include lean meats, cheese, soy products and nuts or PeanutButter. Examples of high fiber foods include all kinds of vegetables, minus the starchy ones (corn, potato). Examples of healthy fats include avocado, nuts, seeds, and cooking oil. 

Dietary and lifestyle tips to improve blood sugars with GD 

  • Eat 3 meals and 3 snacks, 2-3 hours apart. 

  • Drink plenty of fluids- make water your choice of beverage.  

  • Avoid going 10 hours past your last bedtime snack and your breakfast.  

  • Read food labels to avoid added sugars. Limit artificial sweeteners to 1-2 servings/day.  

  • Try to walk for 10-15 minutes after each meal, especially after breakfast.  

Talk to one of our WIC dietitians for further assistance! 






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