Each year, nearly 10% of pregnant women in the U.S. are diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This type of diabetes occurs in women who did not have diabetes before becoming pregnant and starts when your body does not produce enough insulin it needs for pregnancy. Those who develop gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life after pregnancy. The cause of gestational diabetes is unknown and there is no way to guarantee that you won’t develop it, but even if diagnosed, it is still possible to experience a healthy pregnancy. The health experts at Envolve, an integrated healthcare solutions company, are pleased to share five tips for lowering your risk of gestational diabetes.
1. Favor Fiber. Foods that are naturally high in fiber are part of a well-balanced diet and are especially important during pregnancy. Eating fresh, natural foods and avoiding heavily processed snacks that are high in empty calories and sugar can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try subbing in high-fiber, low-fat choices such as whole grains, beans or legumes, bananas or mangoes, and colorful vegetables like broccoli, beets, and carrots. Your daily fiber intake should reach 25 to 30 grams per day, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
2. Exercise Evenly. Regular exercise can help you manage your blood sugar levels and can improve your overall health. Some appropriate exercises are walking, biking, and swimming. A good rule of thumb is 30 minutes of movement each day. Be sure to check with your primary care provider (PCP) to discuss your exercise plan and determine the daily activity level that is right for you during your pregnancy.
3. Monitor Mindfully. Make a meal plan and stick to it! You might even want to meet with a dietician to discuss healthy food options. Be sure to keep a careful eye on your consumption of sugar and carbs. Especially limit foods with saturated and trans fats, added sugar, and simple carbs, as these can cause increases in blood sugar levels. Several smaller meals throughout the day can help you more closely monitor your sugar intake and keep your glucose levels stable. Aim for three moderately portioned main meals and two or three smaller meals spaced out at the same times each day.
4. Find Fresh Fare. Carbohydrates (carbs) and your body’s insulin determine your blood sugar levels so eating the right carbs is important to your diet. Incorporating foods with complex carbs will provide your body with more nutrients, keep your energy up, and help your blood sugar levels stay balanced. Fiber and starch are two types of complex carbs. Incorporating sources of protein, such as grilled chicken or fish, into every meal can help you balance your intake of protein to carbs. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables including dark leafy greens like spinach or kale will provide the proper vitamins and nutrients for you and your growing baby.
5. Attend Appointments. Don’t miss your regular appointments with your care provider. These are very important for monitoring your health and keeping track of your baby’s growth and development. Your PCP will likely perform a test to determine if you have developed gestational diabetes between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy. Even if you are active and live a healthy lifestyle, you may still develop this temporary condition. If you do, be sure to talk with your PCP about next steps and how to monitor your glucose to keep both you and baby healthy.
The article above is to serve only as a guideline and should not be viewed as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. In the case of a medical emergency, contact your healthcare provider or call 911.
About Envolve, Inc.®
Envolve, Inc.® is a family of health solutions, working together to make healthcare simpler, more effective and more accessible for everyone. As an agent for change in healthcare, Envolve is committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. Envolve unifies specialty pharmacy, PBM, vision, dental, 24/7 nurse advice services, diabetes management, MSO solutions, and more. For more information, please visit our website www.envolvehealth.com or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org/diabetes/gestational-diabetes