In 2017 the Journal of Pregnancy reported on a study on children of mothers who managed to control their gestational diabetes with diet alone. They found dietary control worked well at preventing their babies from being born overweight.
Researchers at the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, examined the records of all births at the hospital over a one year period. The pregnant mothers diagnosed with Gestational diabetes who were treated with a diabetes diet had a lower risk of delivering large babies than those mothers with a healthy pregnancy. From this information, the investigators deliver diet-controlled Gestational diabetes had a low risk for delivering overweight infants.
Gestational diabetes is the kind diagnosed only during pregnancy. It carries with it the risk of infant weights over the 90th or 95th percentile, defined as large for pregnancy age …
- if the child is too large for vaginal birth a C-section may be necessary, or the child may suffer an injured shoulder during vaginal birth.
- infants can be born with serious malformations of the nervous system. This is thought to be the effect of high sugar levels on the embryo's genes.
- infants may be born with low blood sugar levels or have difficulty breathing.
- miscarriages are also a risk.
Mothers diagnosed with Gestational diabetes are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes over the next five to ten years after delivery.
Some mothers with Gestational diabetes are treated with insulin or an oral anti-diabetic medication but using diet and exercise avoids developing any possible side effects of anti-diabetic drugs. Women with Gestational diabetes are advised …
- to eat three meals and two to three snacks a day to keep blood sugar levels even.
- fruit should be limited because of its high sugar level, and
- fruit juices should be avoided altogether. Liquids high in sugar deliver the sugar to the intestines quickly, and it is then rapidly absorbed. Whole fruit contains fiber which slows down sugar absorption.
- bread products should be made of whole grains.
- Eat a variety of fresh or frozen vegetables in different colors.
- a little protein at each meal also helps to slow down sugar absorption.
A tablespoon of peanut or almond butter on whole wheat toast makes a light breakfast. See your doctor, midwife, or dietitian for a healthy diet and exercise plan. Plans can be designed for any personal, ethnic, or religious preferences. Taking part in regular exercise will help limit weight gain and prepare your body for delivery.