Last Update: 09/11/2006 Printer Friendly Printer Friendly   Email This Page Email This Page  

Managing Gestational Diabetes: A Patient's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

 Managing Gestational Diabetes: A Patient's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy front coverDear Patient,

The feelings that surround pregnancy--excitement, anxiety, and hope--often give way to many questions. Will my child's eyes be blue or brown? When will I have my baby? How big will my baby be? What does the future hold for my family?

Finding out that you have a "condition," even a manageable one, can raise a different set of questions. Will my baby be healthy? Will the condition affect my ability to have other children? What can I do to ensure my own health and the health of my baby?

For the last 40 years, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has been working to answer these types of questions through research and clinical practice to improve the health of mothers, children, and families.

Managing Gestational Diabetes: A Patient's Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy provides some general guidelines for keeping yourself healthy and for promoting the best outcomes for your baby, if you have gestational diabetes. The booklet describes gestational diabetes, its causes, and its features and includes a general treatment plan to help control the condition.

Using this information, you and your family can make informed decisions about your care. You will also be better able to work with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and situation, to ensure that you and your baby are healthy.

I hope this booklet helps you meet the challenges of gestational diabetes that you will face over the next few months, and that you will enjoy the new addition to your family when he or she arrives.

Sincerely yours,
Dr. Alexander's Signature

Duane Alexander, M.D.
Director, NICHD

Table of Contents
What is gestational diabetes?
          What is diabetes?
Why didn't I have gestational diabetes before?
          Why isn't the insulin doing its job?
Who can I go to for help with gestational diabetes?
Will gestational diabetes hurt my baby?
Will gestational diabetes affect my labor or delivery?
Will I have diabetes after I have my baby?
What should I do if I have gestational diabetes?
          Know your blood sugar level and keep it under control
          Eat a healthy diet,as outlined by your health care provider
          Get regular, moderate physical activity
          Maintain a healthy weight gain
          Keep daily records of your diet, physical activity, and glucose level
          Take insulin and/or other medications as prescribed
          Your health care provider might also tell you to:
                    Test your urine for ketones if needed
                    Have your blood pressure checked as indicated
What should I do after my baby is born?
How can I tell if I'm likely to develop diabetes in the future?
Plan your next pregnancy
You can control gestational diabetes
Where can I go for more information?
          Appendix A: High-Fiber Foods
          Appendix B: Sample Menu
          Appendix C: Sample Glucose Monitoring Sheet
          Appendix D: Sample Food and Physical Activity Record Sheet
References and acknowledgements

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