Gestational diabetes

How can I eat well to help manage my gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a high blood sugar level which occurs during pregnancy and typically disappears after the baby is born. It develops when your body is unable to produce enough insulin to meet the increased needs in pregnancy.

Most women with gestational diabetes have otherwise healthy pregnancies, but it’s important to manage the condition because problems such as premature birth and pre-eclampsia can arise as a result of gestational diabetes.

The chances of problems occurring decrease if blood sugar levels are well managed during pregnancy. Enjoying a healthy diet and staying active can help with managing gestational diabetes. Eating regular meals, reducing your intake of foods high in fat, sugar and salt, and choosing a variety of healthy foods such as fruit and vegetables, beans, peas and lentils, low-fat dairy, lean meat, chicken and fish, and some sources of starchy carbohydrates like potatoes, rice and pasta, can support an overall healthy diet.

You’ll find more tips on following a healthy, balanced diet here, and always continue to follow any dietary advice from your healthcare team.

Though gestational diabetes usually disappears once the baby is born, women who have it during their pregnancy are more likely to develop the condition in future pregnancies. They are also at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. Therefore it’s important to continue to eat well, keep active and maintain a healthy weight for your overall health and any future pregnancies.

Our New Mums section of the website has some useful suggestions on how to continue to eat well and keep active after the baby is born.

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