There are no guarantees when it comes to preventing gestational diabetes — but the more healthy habits you can adopt before pregnancy, the better. If you've had gestational diabetes, these healthy choices may also reduce your risk of having it in future pregnancies or developing type 2 diabetes down the road.
April 25, 2014
- Eat healthy foods. Choose foods high in fiber and low in fat and calories. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without compromising taste or nutrition. Watch portion sizes.
Keep active. Exercising before and during pregnancy can help protect you from developing gestational diabetes. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Take a brisk daily walk. Ride your bike. Swim laps.
If you can't fit a single 30-minute workout into your day, several shorter sessions can do just as much good. Park in the distant lot when you run errands. Get off the bus one stop before you reach your destination. Every step you take increases your chances of staying healthy.
Lose excess pounds before pregnancy. Doctors don't recommend weight loss during pregnancy. But if you're planning to get pregnant, losing extra weight beforehand may help you have a healthier pregnancy.
Focus on permanent changes to your eating habits. Motivate yourself by remembering the long-term benefits of losing weight, such as a healthier heart, more energy and improved self-esteem.
- Caughey AB. Obstetrical management of pregnancies complicated by gestational diabetes. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Gestational diabetes. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/what-is-gestational-diabetes.html. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Coustan DR, et al. Medical management and follow-up of gestational diabetes mellitus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Gestational diabetes: A guide for pregnant women. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://effectivehealthcare.ahrq.gov/index.cfm/search-for-guides-reviews-and-reports/?productid=162&pageaction=displayproduct. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
- Greuter MJE, et al. Quality of guidelines in the management of diabetes in pregnancy: A systematic review. BioMed Central Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2012;12:58.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) Committee on Practice Bulletins — Obstetrics. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 137. Gestational diabetes mellitus. Obstetrics and gynecology. 2013;122:406.
- Blumer I, et al. Diabetes and pregnancy: An Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2013;98:4227.
- Coustan DR, et al. Screening and diagnosis of diabetes mellitus during pregnancy. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 10, 2013.
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