What to Do to a Pregnant Diabetic

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By Dr. Victor Dumaguing

To Your Health

Friday, April 26, 2013

OBVIOUSLY, the pre-natal needs of a diabetic whose pregnant are quite different from those women, heavy with a child but whose blood sugar.

Diet, especially carbohydrates-rice, pasta, noodles, bread, potatoes- has to be monitored and balanced; carbohydrates are the primary source of energy but too much of it will flood the blood with excessive unused sugar. Fiber is known to slow down digestion and absorption of nutrients, thus it helps control blood sugar levels. Eat meals and snacks on a regular schedule, small but varied amounts. Add a light snack before bedtime.

Moderate physical exercise is encouraged like walking, aerobics and even swimming but the regimen must be discussed with your doctor first. Otherwise, simple logic dictates that you stop when you feel tired, faint or dizzy.


If available, self-monitoring of blood glucose level is helpful. A specimen taken upon walking up is fasting specimen and should not be higher than 5.3 percent whereas  after one hour of eating, blood sugar should not be higher than 7.8; while the two-hours postprandial (after eating) blood sugar should not be more than 6.7.

As pregnancy reaches full term, the insulin resistance of the pregnant diabetic increases thereby requiring more insulin injections to keep glucose levels under control. Insulin moves glucose out of the bloodstream and into our cells to be utilized as source of energy.

After the baby is born, your doctor will check blood sugar immediately, then six weeks after, to check if blood sugar has gone back the normal. Women who have has gestational diabetes have a 40 percent higher chance  than women who haven’t had gestational diabetes, of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. It must be emphasized that children of mothers with gestational diabetes are at higher risk for obesity, abnormal glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes.

Like all mothers, women with gestational diabetes should breastfeed their babies, because aside from the more obvious benefits to the baby in terms of balanced nutrition and immune-protection, breastfeeding is also beneficial to the mother, in the sense that breastfeeding allows your body to use up some extra calories that were stored during pregnancy.

If you are planning to get pregnant again, have a blood sugar test up to three months before conceiving to ensure that your blood sugar level is within normal or ideal levels. Take note ladies, pregnancy is a joint journey of the mother and her would-be baby!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 27, 2013.


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