Treating Gestational Diabetes
If you aren’t familiar with diabetes you are going to have a lot of “stuff” thrown at you. You’ll learn lots of new terms and be introduced to new tools that will help you monitor your condition. Although it may seem overwhelming, the majority of women with gestational diabetes are able to successfully control their blood glucose levels and have healthy babies without any complications if they receive proper treatment and routine monitoring. After delivery, most women with gestational diabetes have normal blood glucose levels and no longer require treatment.
Gestational diabetes is typically treated and managed through daily blood glucose monitoring and by making dietary changes to help keep your blood glucose levels within the normal range. Some doctors may also recommend an exercise regimen.
That makes it seem like gestational diabetes isn’t much of a problem – but it is. Poorly controlled gestational diabetes can have a significant impact on both you and your baby’s current and future health. It bears repeating that women with gestational diabetes have a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life and babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes are at greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.
Sometimes, when dietary changes do not control the blood glucose levels, you may need to start insulin therapy or take other medications.
Your physician will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your gestational diabetes. Don’t ever be afraid to ask your doctor questions about your condition.
Blood Glucose Levels. It’s important to understand to avoid the complications associated with gestational diabetes for you and your baby; you must monitor and control your blood glucose levels every day.
During your pregnancy, you’ll check your blood glucose levels using a blood glucose meter several times a day. Most of you should be familiar with meters from the many television commercials for diabetes. You make a small prick in your skin with a sharp device called a lancet. You collect a small drop of blood on a testing strip which is fed into a meter to give you a level.
Your physician and/or pharmacist can teach you how to monitor your blood glucose levels at home. Each meter is a little different so follow the manufacturer’s directions for using and taking care of your meter.
Most doctors recommend testing at least four times a day. Talk with your doctor about when you should check your blood glucose levels and check off the times using the checklist included under “My Daily Blood Glucose Monitoring Times.” Recheck your blood glucose level if a test result seems off. Ask your health care team for help if you have questions about using your meter or your test results
The daily target blood glucose numbers recommended for most pregnant women are in the following table. But your doctor will set specific targets for you.