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How to deal with obesity and diabetes during pregnancy

Obesity

Obesity is an anarchy concerning disproportionate body fat increasing the risk of health problems. Compared with women with a healthy pre-pregnancy weight, women with obesity are at increases risk of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, venous thromboembolism, induced labour, caesarean section, anaesthetic complications and wound infections. Apart from all these complications, they are less likely to initiate or maintain breastfeeding.
Some of the measures to help deal with obesity during pregnancy are as follows

Get early and regular prenatal care

A preconception checkup is a medical checkup performed prior to pregnancy to assess the health of the women. The health care provider can evaluate the proportion of weight gain that occurred during pregnancy. They can further assist in finding out ways to eat healthily and be physically active to help lose weight prior to pregnancy. The doctor can also refer the expectant mother to a dietitian or trainer for assessment and personalized advice on healthy eating and exercise during pregnancy.

Eat healthy foods

It is always required to talk to the healthcare provider or a nutritionist to help plan the daily meal regimen. A balanced diet is one that gives the body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. To achieve proper nutrition from the diet, one should consume the majority of the daily calories from fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grains.

Food diary

A food diary ensures that you are eating well for yourself and for a healthy pregnancy. It helps notice any patterns in food eating behaviours. For instance, you might notice that you crave something sweet mid-morning, this helps monitor and adequately change eating patterns

Physical activity

Engaging in activities like walking has shown to increase physical activity levels and reduced sedentary behaviours. Higher physical activity is associated with reduced excessive gestational weight gain. Any new exercise should be started slowly and build up gradually over time. The ultimate goal is to be active each day. Walking and swimming are both mutually exceptional choices for people new to exercise.

Avoid empty calories

During pregnancy, the following foods should be consumed in moderation i.e. fast foods, fried food, soda, pastries, and sweets. Changes in diet are more effective than exercise alone in helping women reduce weight gain and improve outcomes for the baby

Diabetes during pregnancy

Diabetes during pregnancy results in problems such as a large baby, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Macrosomia is a condition in which the baby grows too large due to excess insulin crossing the placenta. This large weight baby’s can further results in more cesarean deliveries and increased complications during delivery. Other complications may include pregnancy loss and prematurely born infants It is particularly imperative for women with diabetes to attain normal blood glucose levels before conceiving as expectant women having poorly controlled diabetes are at much-elevated risk for threatening fetal complications. This enhanced control can be accomplished with health education and medical treatment strategies.
The basic components of effectively managing diabetes include

  • Preconception health check up
  • Healthy weight management
  • Monitoring blood glucose levels
  • Physical activity.

Diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity alone. Most diabetes tablets are not suitable for use during pregnancy, but insulin injections and/or a medication called metformin may be required to help manage diabetes. Approximately 10 – 20% of the women might need the necessity for insulin therapy

1. Preconception health check up

If an expectant mother has diabetes and is planning to conceive she should make sure she speaks to the doctor regarding the A1C levels, medication or about a referral to a nutritionist. Women with Type 1 diabetes should always get the necessary investigations performed. This includes a kidney function test, a thyroid test, and an eye examination

2. Eating well with diabetes

One of the best ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy is to maintain a normal weight. Eat a primarily plant-based diet, avoiding excessive added sugars, preservatives, processed foods, and those high in saturated fats.
Following a healthy eating plan will assist in:

  • Managing blood glucose levels within the target range advised by the doctor
  • Provides the adequate nutrition required for the mother and the growing baby
  • Helps to achieve appropriate weight changes during the pregnancy

3. Monitoring blood glucose levels while pregnant

It is important to monitor the blood glucose levels at home for appropriate management of diabetes. The health educator can assist by showing how to evaluate the individual blood glucose levels. If the blood glucose levels cannot be managed by healthy eating and physical activity the doctors usually suggest medication. Most diabetes tablets are not suitable for use during pregnancy, but insulin injections and/or a medication called metformin may be required to help manage the condition

4. Physical activity

Exercise helps metabolize the food better, controls blood glucose and helps control weight during and after pregnancy. The Center for disease control recommends pregnant women get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.