My spouse has diabetes. How should she eat while pregnant?
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, if your partner already has diabetes and would like to get pregnant, her chances of having a healthy baby are good.
But, it’s important to plan the pregnancy and follow these steps:
- Make sure she gets her diabetes under control before she gets pregnant. Try to get her blood sugar under control three to six months before she gets pregnant.
- Always keep her blood sugar under control during the pregnancy. Keep her food, exercise, and insulin in balance. Talk with her doctor or a registered dietitian to help your spouse follow a special meal plan. Remember, as your baby grows, your spouse’s body changes, and these changes will affect her sugar levels. If her blood sugar rises too high, the increased sugar crossing into the placenta can result in a large, over-developed fetus with birth defects or an infant with blood sugar level problems
- Be sure she gets enough of the B vitamin folic acid, every day. Women with diabetes might be at increased risk for having a baby with a serious birth defect. Getting enough folic acid each day can help reduce this risk
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that begins during pregnancy and usually goes away after the birth of the baby. If your spouse has gestational diabetes, this means that she has a high amount of sugar in her blood during pregnancy. This form of diabetes can be controlled through diet, medication, and exercise, but if left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health problems for both her and the baby.
If your spouse develops gestational diabetes, your doctor will refer her to a registered dietitian who can help her with special meal plans to control her blood sugar.