Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a condition characterized by an increase in blood sugar levels, of various degrees, during pregnancy. GDM occurs when the body’s insulin supply is insufficient to regulate blood glucose levels.
How To Prevent Gestational Diabetes – Five Crucial Tips
Here are some tips to ensure a safe pregnancy that nullifies the risk of GDM:
Get A Regular Antenatal Checkup
The diagnosis and treatment of gestational diabetes mellitus is important to avoid maternal and fetal complications. The gestational diabetes test can help in this regard. The American Diabetes Association recommends screening the expectant mother for GDM during her early antenatal visits if she belongs to the high risk group, or between the 24th and 28th week of her pregnancy if she has no history of GDM.
Reduce Weight By Increasing Your Physical Activity
If you are overweight (BMI ≥ 25), decrease your body mass index (BMI) to a normal range before you get pregnant. This will lower your risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus. You can shed weight by:
- Increasing activities like walking, jogging, skipping, and swimming
- Walking continuously for 30 minutes everyday
- Using the stairs instead of the lift, as just 10 minutes of climbing stairs is equivalent to 30 minutes of walking
- Using bicycles instead of a motorized vehicle to cover short distances
- Minimizing TV watching
- Reducing the time spent playing computer games or aimless internet browsing
Lower Your Stress Levels
- Take up activities like yoga and meditation to relieve stress.
- Try stress busters like deep breathing exercises.
- Regularly practice relaxation techniques like listening to music.
Make Changes To Your Diet
- Ensure that your food intake is less than the amount of energy you spend.
- Include vegetables and greens in your meals.
- Eat plenty of fruits, but avoid fruit juices as far as possible.
- Increase the intake of foods rich in fiber and decrease the intake of foods rich in carbohydrates.
- Keep your consumption of foods rich in proteins and cereals at moderate levels.
- Minimize your intake of fried food and foods rich in fat.
- Avoid sweets and dairy products.
- Fight the temptation to snack between meals and while watching TV.
Plan Your Pregnancy
If you have any risk factors like obesity, a family history of diabetes, previous abortions, or high blood pressure, consult your physician before planning a pregnancy.
GDM can occur in any pregnant woman. In some cases, it persists even after the duration of the pregnancy has passed. As a result, it is important to learn how to prevent gestational diabetes mellitus before planning to have a baby.