As a pregnant mother, you likely know the importance of monitoring your overall nutrition, as well as tracking your blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Blood sugar levels are a delicate thing and should be monitored consistently over the course of one’s pregnancy in order to avoid serious health complications for both the mother and child.
Dangerous blood sugar levels are known to cause adult diabetes. High blood sugar levels can lead to an increased likelihood one’s child will contract childhood diabetes or other lifelong medical conditions. What’s more, these high blood sugar levels can cause complications with the mother’s pregnancy, endangering both mother and child.
You can avoid high blood sugar levels during pregnancy by first understanding the factors that lead to the condition.
The Effects of Unchecked Blood Sugar
Excessively high levels of blood sugar may lead to premature birth, which in turn may lead to a slew of other complicated health issues for your baby. Additionally, babies born to mothers with high levels of blood sugar will likely also be born with high levels of blood sugar themselves due to the nutrients that they absorb while in the womb.
As a result, these babies tend to be larger than others. This complicates the birth process and can lead to pre-eclampsia, a condition that endangers the delivery process. What’s more, increased blood sugar levels can lead to occurrences of diabetes later on in life.
Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels During Pregnancy
Symptoms of low blood sugar include irritability, blurred vision, shakiness, hunger, and more. However, many of these symptoms can be confused with other conditions of pregnancy. You may not be able to separate your normal pregnancy side effects from those caused by low blood sugar.
In this case, it is important to take monitoring your blood sugar into your own hands. Blood sugar test devices and strips are available at most drug stores. These strips allow you to conveniently test your blood sugar from your own home.
Factors that Lead to High Blood Sugar
There are a few different factors that can lead to high blood sugar:
When it comes to keeping your blood sugar low and you and your baby healthy, you’ll need to pay close attention to your diet and exercise routines. You’ll want to keep your diet healthy and eat foods that keep your blood sugar at a moderate level.
Foods that help regulate your blood sugar include the following:
- Lean fish
- Lean meat
- Whole grains
- Beans & legumes
It is important to avoid eating excessive amounts of foods that will cause spikes in your blood sugar. It is equally important to avoid allowing your blood sugar to dip too low, so be sure to monitor your blood sugar while continuing to eat healthy food.
Maintaining a healthy diet while pregnant also helps you set your child up for success in other ways. Childhood diet habits are strongly linked to adult diet habits. You cannot go wrong by setting your child up for success by introducing healthy eating habits from the womb.
Another important facet of maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is performing regular exercise. However, as a pregnant woman, you’ll likely need to consult your doctor before beginning any rigorous exercise.
If you were already moderately active before your pregnancy, it is likely your doctor will okay you to continue exercising while being closely monitored. Women who were not extremely active before their pregnancy can still enjoy the benefits of exercise while pregnant, but should also consult their doctors before beginning.
Regular exercise works to keep blood sugar levels down in combination with your diet. Both aspects of your health are equally important when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels.
Keeping Your Blood Sugar Levels in Check Can Be a Challenge
If you find yourself having trouble maintaining healthy levels of blood sugar on your own, be sure to speak to a physician. A medical doctor can help you determine if there is an underlying medical reason for your increased blood sugar levels and help you keep them down.
What’s more, a medical doctor will be able to help you form a healthy diet and exercise routine while monitoring their effects on your blood sugar levels. Keep you and your child safe by monitoring your blood sugar levels consistently throughout your pregnancy.
Related Content: The Role of Protein During Pregnancy
Most women recognize that the foods they eat play a huge part in helping their child to grow in the uterus. The quality and composition of foods eaten during pregnancy is just as important as the amount of food eaten. Protein is particularly useful because it helps to form new cells and build the body of the fetus.