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4 Essential Guidelines for Effectively Managing Gestational Diabetes

Updated on September 12, 2014
Heidi Vincent profile image

Ms. Vincent is an M.B.A graduate, Business Consultant and health, wellness & natural healing enthusiast, who reads a lot on those subjects.

Smiling baby in hand
Smiling baby in hand

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus Overview

Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, which is also called Gestational Glucose Intolerance, Gestational Diabetes or GDM in short form, is a type of diabetes that, according to the American Diabetes Association, affects around 7% of pregnancies.Gestational Diabetes is usually diagnosed during a woman's 24th to 28th week of pregnancy.

Generally, women who develop Gestational Diabetes do not continue to have diabetes after pregnancy, however, some do go on to develop Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, either immediately after pregnancy or at later stages in life.

Some common symptoms of Gestational Diabetes include weight loss in spite of increased appetite, frequent infections, especially of the bladder and vagina, excessive fatigue than is normal during pregnancy, blurred vision, increased thirst and urination than is normal during pregnancy.

There is no need to feel overwhelmed by the news of your diagnosis with Gestational Diabetes. You can effectively manage you and your baby's health, have a safe pregnancy and mitigate your chances of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus after pregnancy by following these four (4) key guidelines, which I will elaborate on below:

1. Get Expert Knowledge About Gestational Diabetes.

2. Cook & Eat Healthy for Gestational Diabetes.

3. Engage in Regular Exercise for Gestational Diabetes.

4. Effectively Monitor Your Gestational Diabetes.

If You Are Predisposed to Get Diabetes... - Here's What YOU Can Do!

The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes: Your complete plan for preventing the onset of Diabetes
The Everything Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes: Your complete plan for preventing the onset of Diabetes

"A pre-diabetes diagnosis is a wake-up call. And with this book, you can make the lifestyle changes you need to ensure your good health. Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian Gretchen Scalpi provides helpful tips not only on what to eat and when, but how to prepare delicious healthy foods".

Pregnant woman and baby
Pregnant woman and baby

Guideline No 1: Get Expert Knowledge About Gestational Diabetes

Sure, your doctor will give you some beginning facts about Gestational Diabetes and what to expect but it is very important that you arm yourself with first-hand expert knowledge about Gestational Diabetes, so that you can effectively manage your Gestational Diabetes in between your visits to the doctor.

Below, are some excellent resources that you can keep handy and read while relaxing at home during your pregnancy, since you will most likely be given extended bed rest, or waiting to see your doctor for a regular checkup.

These resources will provide you with all of the knowledge you need to understand how your body is reacting to the gestational diabetes and how you can properly manage your gestational diabetes and its symptoms.

Image credit: Adams999/

How You Will Be Tested for Gestational Diabetes

Guideline No 2: Cook & Eat Healthy for Gestational Diabetes

With Gestational Diabetes your body is unable to process and use sugar (glucose) from your meals due to insulin resistance.

So instead of converting the sugar (glucose) from your meal into energy, it is stored as fat in your baby's body. Hence the reason your baby will be extremely overweight at birth if you do not actively manage what you eat.

Use these cookbooks with enticing recipes to help you prepare the right meals for you and your baby during Gestational Diabetes, whether you're a vegetarian or a meat lover.

You will benefit from the collective wisdom and advice of the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietetic Association, dietitians and diabetes educators.

Image credit: sriram bala/

Healthy & Delicious Meals for Baby and You!

The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Exchanges: Choose Your Foods
The Official Pocket Guide to Diabetic Exchanges: Choose Your Foods

This portable, pocket-sized book is easy to carry around and in it you will benefit from the combined knowledge of the American Diabetes Association and the American Dietetic Association.“

By grouping similar foods into exchangeable portion sizes, people with diabetes can instantly create entire meals, specifically designed to help them control their blood glucose and lose weight.

This proven system is the most popular approach to diabetes meal planning and has been used by dietitians, diabetes educators, and millions of people with diabetes for over 40 years.”

Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook: Slow-Cooker Favorites to Include Everyone!
Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook: Slow-Cooker Favorites to Include Everyone!

This book is written by “New York Times bestselling author Phyllis Pellman Good with the American Diabetes Association.

A diet that's healthy for persons with diabetes is healthy for all the rest of us, too! Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook is packed with delicious recipes for everyone--including those who have to keep track of food exchanges, carbs, sugars, calories, and fats.

This cookbook makes mealtime an occasion when everyone belongs. Each recipe comes complete with its Exchange Value and with its Basic Nutritional Values.”


Super Foods for Gestational Diabetes

A Recipe for Life by the Doctor's Dietitian
A Recipe for Life by the Doctor's Dietitian

Dr. Susan Dopart who is a much sought-after expert on diabetes prevention, wrote this book “after years of looking unsuccessfully for a research-based, easy-to-understand nutrition guide to share with her patients.”

Her book “includes 60 easy-to-make recipes for main dishes, salads, soups and desserts; how to organize your kitchen for maximum efficiency; and lists of foods to shop for and those to avoid.”

As a bonus, she also gives good advice “on important life changes such as pregnancy, menopause, male menopause, high blood pressure, heart disease, reflux, arthritis etc.

Diabetes Diet: The 101 Best Diabetic Foods
Diabetes Diet: The 101 Best Diabetic Foods

Here is an inexpensive Kindle Version! “The 101 list of diabetic foods “encourages you to broaden your eating choices.

This prevents the boredom that many experience by getting stuck on limited diets, and often leads to “cheating” which can have very unhealthy consequences.

These foods are very rich in nutrients and will help you maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the day. If you eat a wide variety of them on a regular basis throughout the week, you’ll be feeding your body right and energizing yourself for all the different activities that you choose to pursue.

It includes a shopping list that conveniently organizes them as you would find them while shopping.”

Pregnant woman exercising
Pregnant woman exercising

Guideline No 3: Engage in Regular Exercise for Gestational Diabetes

Exercise is an important part of your life and you should do it at every age and stage of your life. It becomes especially important when you are pregnant, though, in order to keep you and your baby healthy and to avoid you gaining excess weight.

If you were already overweight before pregnancy, then you have an increased likelihood of developing gestational diabetes.

As someone who is diabetic, prone to diabetes or has been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, even if you have never exercised on a regular basis before pregnancy, now more than ever you need to engage in regular physical exercise in order to help keep your blood sugar at normal levels. Image credit: A Healthier Michigan/

Exercising with Gestational Diabetes!

Fit & Healthy Pregnancy: How to Stay Strong and in Shape for You and Your Baby
Fit & Healthy Pregnancy: How to Stay Strong and in Shape for You and Your Baby

“Fit & Healthy Pregnancy reviews up-to-date research to show that exercise during pregnancy isn’t just safe, it’s ideal for health and wellness.

Pinto and Kramer guide moms-to-be through each trimester, showing how their bodies, nutrition needs, and workouts will change. The authors cover the months following delivery, when women adapt to a new lifestyle that balances family, fitness, self, and perhaps a return to work.

They offer smart guidance and tips on breastfeeding, sleep training, nutrition and hydration, weight loss, and how to transition back into workouts and training.”

Pregnancy Fitness: Mind Body Spirit
Pregnancy Fitness: Mind Body Spirit

“Pregnancy Fitness, by the experts at Fitness Magazine, provides expectant mothers with all the information they need to exercise safely and effectively throughout their pregnancy.”

“Whether you're a hard-core triathlete or just starting a fitness program for the first time, proper exercise can ensure a healthier pregnancy, an easier delivery, and a faster recovery.

Pregnancy Fitness guides you carefully through every trimester, covering the physical changes and common complaints for each one, from shortness of breath to dizziness to morning sickness.”


Gestational Diabetes: The Importance of Exercise & Diet

Diabetic Glucose (Sugar) Monitoring Kit
Diabetic Glucose (Sugar) Monitoring Kit

Guideline No 4: Effectively Monitor Your Gestational Diabetes

Your doctor won’t always be at your side and there are so many “emergency” calls he’ll accept from you. So it is important that you obtain your own monitoring system to keep your Gestational Diabetes in check and monitor your day-to-day progress.

In addition to the recommended FreeStyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System Diabetic Meter Kit, you should also keep a diabetes journal.

You can keep a manual journal or use Diabetes 24/7 which is an online personal health record that the American Diabetes Association's Online Diabetes Management Program has integrated with Microsoft's HealthVault and which allows you to manage your diabetes and share the information with your doctor, pharmacists etc.

Image credit: PearlsOfJannah/

How to Monitor Your Gestational Diabetes

Freestyle LITE Blood Glucose Test Strips NEW Butterfly Design 1 box of 50
Freestyle LITE Blood Glucose Test Strips NEW Butterfly Design 1 box of 50

“The Freestyle Lite Glucose Test Strips by Abbott are made to be used with the Freestyle Lite Blood Glucose Monitoring System and FreeStyle Freedom Lite Glucose Meter. Small sample size, alternate site testing, and no coding required.” The box contains 50 strips.


What's your Diabetes Experience!

What's your Diabetes Experience!

See results
Freestyle Lancets - 100 ct Box
Freestyle Lancets - 100 ct Box

“FreeStyle Sterile Lancets FreeStyle Lancets are made from very thin, 25 gauge stainless steel for comfort, and sterilized for your protection. FreeStyle Lancets also fit almost all other lancing devices.”


Visit the Catholic Contributor for more winning gift ideas…

useful product reviews, delicious recipes, and inspirational Catholic & Christian articles at

How did you cope with Gestational Diabetes? Share your experience as a pregnant diabetic! Or just tell me you were here!

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    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 

      4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Great tips and help for the mom-to-be with Gestational Diabetes.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      4 years ago

      Congrats. I can see why this is a Best of lens. You have a lot of helpful information here.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @TolovajWordsmith: Sorry about the loss of your friend Tolovaj. Thanks for visiting and sharing. Have a blessed week.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana

      My good friend died of Diabetes before he reached 30 years. He wasn't taking his disease seriously enough. We all should be very careful and get as much info is possible.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @WildFacesGallery: Thanks WildfacesGallery for sharing your experience as a diabetic. Thanks for the visit and the compliment on my lens too. Have a blessed weekend.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image


      6 years ago from Iowa

      As a diabetic I know the most important thing is to monitor your levels. You can't really control it properly unless you know where your at. Nicely presented.

    • Heidi Vincent profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Vincent 

      6 years ago from GRENADA

      @JoshK47: Thanks Josh for visiting, complimenting and BLESSING my lens. Have a blessed weekend.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Quite an expertly put together lens! Thanks so much for sharing - blessed by a SquidAngel!


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