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6 Tips to Manage Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs only in pregnant women. This condition happens when a woman cannot produce enough insulin resulting in high blood sugar levels. Gestational diabetes affects between 2 and 10 percent of all pregnancies, which means there are more than 130,000 cases each year. Having elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy can lead to serious complications for both the mother and the fetus. Like other types of diabetes, the key to managing gestational diabetes is keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

1. Eat healthily
Eating healthy food will help you control your blood sugar levels. Make sure you eat the right amount of proteins, healthy starch, fruits, vegetables, and fats. Cut down on sugary drinks and processed food like ice cream, cakes, and biscuits. Instead of zero-calorie food, choose healthier alternatives such as whole food, fruits, and seeds. You are also encouraged to eat at least three meals a day and control your portion sizes to avoid gaining weight. Do not skip meals as it may prompt the body to crave for unhealthy diet choices.

2. Exercise regularly
Another effective way to manage gestational diabetes is to engage in regular physical activity. Exercise helps the body to use insulin more effectively, which results in lower blood sugar levels. It’s advisable to do mild to moderate exercises such as swimming, walking, jogging, or prenatal aerobics or yoga for at least 30 minutes every day.

3. Maintain a healthy weight
Overweight women are at a higher risk of having gestational diabetes. Moreover, overweight women with gestational diabetes tend to experience more complications as compared to those with a healthy weight. That’s why it’s important to eat low glycemic foodand exercise more to maintain a healthy weight. However, it’s not advisable to embark on a weight loss program during pregnancy. Just stick to moderate exercises and proper nutrition.

4. Test your blood sugar level
To control your blood sugar levels, you’ll need to test it regularly. Usually, doctors advise that you check your blood sugar levels four or five times a day, particularly in the morning and after meals. This will help you determine if your sugar levels are within the healthy range. Besides, testing your blood sugar level regularly will help you get a grasp on how certain food affect your blood sugar and adjust them appropriately.

5. Monitor your pregnancy
Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of both the mother and the baby developing complications. Therefore, you need to have more antenatal appointments so that the baby can be monitored.

6. Take medication if necessary
If your blood sugar level remains high despite making the necessary lifestyle changes, you may need insulin injections or diabetes pills to keep your blood sugar under control and protect your baby.

If you manage gestational diabetes with the tips mentioned above, you’ll deliver a healthy baby without complications.

Debunking 5 Common Pregnancy Food Myths

Every prеgnаnt wоmаn ѕhоuld еаt a well-balanced dіеt to fоѕtеr nоrmаl grоwth аnd dеvеlорmеnt of thе fоеtuѕ. In most societies, the nutrition of рrеgnаnt women іѕ strongly іnfluеnсеd bу fооd fаdѕ, taboos, сuѕtоmѕ, сulturаl аnd rеlіgіоuѕ bеlіеfѕ wіth аn еlеmеnt оf unсеrtаіntу between myth аnd reality. Here are some соmmоn mуthѕ about pregnancy foods and the real facts.

Yоu Should Be Eating for Twо

It’s соmmоn tо hеаr thаt ѕіnсе thеrе are now twо of уоu, іt’ѕ a reason to eat mоrе аnd to eat whаtеvеr уоu lіkе. But doing this this wіll result with you gаіnіng unnесеѕѕаrу wеіght that wіll be hаrd to lose lаtеr аnd whісh may аlѕо jеораrdіѕе bоth your аnd your bаbу’ѕ hеаlth. Inѕtеаd, focus оn the ԛuаlіtу оf your dіеt. Reduce fat, salt, and ѕugаr and іnсrеаѕе уоur іntаkе оf whole grаіnѕ, fruіtѕ, vеgеtаblеѕ, lеgumеѕ, аnd lоw-fаt dаіrу рrоduсtѕ. So lау оff the white rice fоr brеаkfаѕt and reach fоr ѕоmе oats with frеѕh fruіtѕ іnѕtеаd.

You Don’t Need A Prenatal Vitamin If You Eat Healthy

Evеrуоnе hаѕ nutrіtіоnаl gарѕ іn their diet—even thе hеаlthіеѕt оf реорlе. A рrеnаtаl vіtаmіn wіll hеlр fіll thоѕе gарѕ. Yоu nееd a lot of еxtrа nutrition during рrеgnаnсу. Wіthоut the ѕuffісіеnt аmоunt оf саlсіum, сhоlіnе, іrоn, DHA/EPA, fоlаtе, Vitamin C, Vіtаmіn A, аnd оthеrѕ, уоu and уоur baby wіll be ѕuѕсерtіblе to complications bеfоrе аnd аftеrthe birth. Here аrе ѕоmе examples of complications due to vitamin-deficiency:

❖ Prеtеrm birth
❖ Preeclampsia
❖ Anemia
❖ Low birth wеіght
❖ Gеѕtаtіоnаl dіаbеtеѕ
❖ Neural tubе defects

You can’t рrеvеnt еvеrуthіng that happens durіng рrеgnаnсу. But, уоu саn lоwеr your rіѕk bу mаkіng уоur nutrіtіоn a priority.

Do Not Eat Fish

Anоthеr рорulаr mуth іѕ that рrеgnаnt women ѕhоuld аvоіd all fish. Onсе again, this соmеѕ wіth caveat. In fасt, еаtіng twо servings оf fіѕh реr wееk can bе hеаlthу for mоm and baby. Coldwater fіѕhсоntаіnѕ a lot of grеаt Omega-3 fаttу асіdѕ, whісh helps wіth уоur bаbу’ѕ brаіn development аnd vision.

Whаt wоmеn ѕhоuld avoid are fіѕh that are high in mеrсurу ѕuсh as ѕwоrdfіѕh, ѕhаrk, tіlеfіѕh, and king mасkеrеl. Sаlmоn, shrimp, and canned light tuna аrе better сhоісеѕ. Additionally, moms who dоn’t lіkе fish but ѕtіll wаnt the bеnеfіtѕ it bring may соnѕіdеr taking prenatal ѕuррlеmеntѕ thаt contain Omеgа-3ѕ.

Too Much Dairy Products Will Give Your Baby Cradle Cap

Dаіrу products аrе hеаlthу аnd necessary as thеу рrоvіdе thе саlсіum rеԛuіrеd fоr baby’s grоwth. Cradle cap is саuѕеd by thе pushing effect оf thе mоthеr or bеаrіng dоwn еffесt. It’ѕ hаrmlеѕѕ and vеrу common, regardless of thе vаrіеtіеѕ оf the dаіrу рrоduсtѕ consumed. Cradle cap gоеѕ аwау оn іtѕ own.

Caffeine Is A Big No

There аrе ѕо mаnу different соffее options: mосhа, lаttе, espresso, аmеrісаnо, mассhіаtо, саррuссіnо,. You саn hаvе іt blасk, hоt, or ісеd. If соffее іѕ your constant companion, gіvіng іt uр whіlе рrеgnаnt may ѕееm dаuntіng. While уоu аrе рrеgnаnt, уоu dо nееd to сut back уоur caffeine іntаkе. Hоwеvеr, уоu dо nоt hаvе to gіvе it uр completely.

Mоdеrаtе lеvеlѕ оf саffеіnе have nоt bееn fоund tо bе hаrmful. Thіѕ mеаnѕ that соnѕumіng around 150-300 mg caffeine іѕ оkау. Aѕ a rеfеrеnсе, аn 8 оz сuр of соffее hаѕ аnуwhеrе frоm 100-170 mg оf саffеіnе.

Finally, if you’ve bееn regaled with thіngѕ thаt уоu ѕhоuldn’t dо during рrеgnаnсу, рlеаѕе consult your doctor. No ԛuеѕtіоn is too ѕіllу or unimportant.

Why Do I Have Hemorrhoids And Varicose Veins In Pregnancy?

Hemorrhoids and varicose veins may seem unrelated but they are quite similar complications that pregnant women face, especially during the third trimester. Both hemorrhoids and varicose veins are swollen twisted veins. These veins are often formed in the legs but when they are formed in other parts of the body such as the rectum, they are called hemorrhoids.

Veins are normally known to have one-way valves that direct blood flow towards the heart. However, sometimes, pressure or weakening of these valves instead allows blood to go back up and pool in the veins, thereby causing them to enlarge and become varicose veins. For pregnant women, the heavyweight of the growing baby could press on the large blood vessels in the pelvis, thereby causing the smaller veins in the pelvis and legs to swell.

Hemorrhoids on the other hand results when the rectal veins enlarge and swell. The condition can get worst with pushing and straining when constipated. If a woman is overweight or has had a hemorrhoid before, it can get worst during pregnancy. Also, when a woman pushes during delivery, her hemorrhoids likely worsens.

Some pregnant women are more prone to having varicose veins than others. For instance, if it runs in your family, it’s easy for you to also have it during pregnancy. More so, pregnant women who sit or stand in one position for too long may force their veins to work harder to pump blood to their hearts. The result is often swollen varicose veins and it can also aggravate already existing hemorrhoids.

It is worth noting that hemorrhoids can be internal or external, and while internal hemorrhoids always form inside the rectum, external hemorrhoids are often located outside, notably around the opening of the anus. The main symptom of an internal hemorrhoid is bright red blood in stool, whereas external hemorrhoids can be itchy, painful and could easily bleed if irritated by straining or wiping.

The symptoms of varicose veins always appear as large blue veins on the legs. Pregnant women may also experience mild swellings in their legs, feet or ankles and throbbing or a feeling of heaviness in their legs. Leg cramps are also associated with varicose veins.

Hemorrhoids in pregnancy are usually temporal and often go away a few weeks after delivery. Moreover, there are a few things that can help reduce the discomfort caused by this condition. For instance, you could use ice water or cold compresses to reduce the swelling. You can also apply prescribed creams and ointments that are safe to use during pregnancy. In general, the best way to avoid hemmorhoids is to prevent constipation and you can do so by adding lots of fiber and fluids in your diet.

Why You Should Sleep On Your Side During Pregnancy

Pregnancy usually comes with many discomforts, one of which is the difficulty to find a good sleeping position. The truth is that as your bump grows bigger, sleeping becomes difficult especially if you were a stomach sleeper. At this juncture, you will be forced to find the best sleeping position that is safe for you and your unborn baby.

As from the fifth month of pregnancy, it is not advisable to sleep on your stomach or on your back. When you sleep on the stomach, you lie face down, thereby making your abdomen press on your expanding uterus. Besides, as your breasts expand during pregnancy, lying on them would become uncomfortable. On the other hand, sleeping on your back is also not the best as you turn to put a lot of pressure on those blood vessels that carry blood from your legs and feet back to your heart. It is worth noting that when you put pressure on these blood vessels, you slow circulation to your body and your baby. Pregnant women might also find it hard to breathe while lying on their backs.

In fact, the studies have shown sleeping at the side is the best position for pregnant women. This position isn’t only safe, but it’s also more comfortable giving your growing abdomen. Medical experts have actually recommended that pregnant women sleep on their left side because it improves circulation, thereby making nutrient-packed blood easily flow from the heart to the placenta where the fetus is nourished. Moreover, by lying on the left side, pregnant women are also preventing their expanding body weight from pushing and pressing too hard on their liver.

There are few tips to help pregnant women position themselves to comfortably sleep on their sides. They include;
• Putting a pillow between your legs and letting it extend right under your tummy. This will definitely give more belly and back support;
• Positioning the pillow well under your body in a bid to help keep you on your side and equally prevent you from rolling to your back and stomach;
• Putting a pillow under the side you are sleeping on. This will help to raise your chest, thereby preventing shortness of breath;
• Propping up the head of your bed with items such as a few inches of books or blocks.

This will go a long way to relieve you from heartburn as you will be able to keep acids down in your stomach, instead of letting them burn their way up your esophagus. In addition, many mothers find the pregnancy pillow would be best investment ever during pregnancy. The pillows can be found in various shapes and sizes that specifically designed to provide best supports of the pregnant body.

What Is Subchorionic Bleeding?

A subchorionic bleed also known as subchorionic hematoma, which is the blood that has accumulated between the uterine lining and the chorion, located the outer fetal membrane next to the uterus. When this happens, it can result in light to heavy spotting or bleeding. In other words, a subchorionic bleed could also occur when the placenta detaches itself from the original implantation site, thereby affecting the chorionic membrane and causing it to lift apart to form another sac between the placenta and the uterus. This movement and resulting clots usually cause light or somewhat heavy bleeding.

Most subchorionic bleeds often resolve on their own and don’t pose any risks to the mother or baby. Most Women who experience subchorionic bleeding still go on to have perfectly healthy pregnancies. However, in rare cases, since it can cause the placenta to separate form the uterine lining, it thereby increases the risk of miscarriage or preterm labor. That explains why it is important for women with this condition to be closely monitored by their healthcare providers.

That said, subchorionic bleeds are rare as only an estimated 1% of all pregnancies have them.1 It also tends to be more prevalent among women who get pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF). Sometimes, it’s hard to differentiate subchorionic bleeding and hematomas because they have similar symptoms. But of course, spotting and bleeding may be a sign, especially in the first trimester. Most causes of subchorionic bleeds are actually detected during a routine ultrasound since they are sometimes without noticeable symptoms.

Even though most subchorionic bleeds resolve on their own, in rare cases, they could cause the placenta to separate from the uterine lining, thereby increasing the risk of a miscarriage or preterm labor. That explains why it is important for women with this condition to be closely monitored by their healthcare providers.

Like already mentioned, subchorionic bleeding can be hard to diagnose as many women confuse it for spotting. However, if you are pregnant and notice vaginal bleeding at any point, the logical thing to do is to let your doctor know. He will likely do an ultrasound to know the root cause of the bleeding. You will therefore be treated according to how large the subchorionic hematoma is and where it is located. You may be put on bed rest or even asked to avoid sex until the condition resolves.

If you are experiencing symptoms of subchorionic hematoma, do speak to your doctor as soon as possible for immediate medical care.

Reference:
1) First Trimester Bleeding Tied to Greater Retained Placenta Risk. MedpageToday Website. https://www.medpagetoday.com/meetingcoverage/acog/72600. Last accessed April 22, 2021.

What You Need To Know About Depression During Pregnancy

Many women are aware of postpartum depression but have no idea they could also fall into depression during pregnancy. Depression is a condition that is characterized by a mood disorder that results in a persistent feeling of sadness. People who are depressed usually lose interest in the things they normally love and care in the past. Women are generally more susceptible to depression, especially during their reproductive years. According to research, depressive episodes occur more frequently in the first and the last trimesters of pregnancy.

Sometimes, it’s not easy for pregnant women to realize they are depressed since the symptoms are similar to those of pregnancy. Even a healthcare provider can easily attribute the symptoms of depression to pregnancy. Some women may also not feel comfortable talking to their health care providers about their symptoms because of the stigma associated with depression. Moreover, most health care providers turn to focus so much on the physical health of pregnant women while neglecting their mental state.

The symptoms of depression during pregnancy are the same as those in any other depressed person. Nevertheless, there are some additional clues that may suggest depression during pregnancy. These clues include:
• Low self-esteem and feeling inadequate about parenthood
• Severe anxiety about the unborn baby
• Poor response to reassurance
• Not being able to enjoy all those activities you would normally love
• Suicidal thoughts
• Developing certain habits such as smoking, consuming illicit drugs or drinking alcohol
• Fluctuations in weight such as excessive weight gain or severe weight loss

Some women are more vulnerable to becoming depressed during pregnancy than others. They include:
• Women who have a lot of stress caused by issues like poverty
• Women who do not have enough social support
• Women suffering from anxiety
• Women who didn’t plan to become pregnant
• And women suffering from intimate partner violence

Untreated depression in pregnancy can pose a series of problems that may be harmful to the unborn baby. For instance, a depressed pregnant woman will hardly have the energy to care for herself the right way. She might neglect her diet and eat unhealthy food. Besides, she might not seek optimal prenatal care, thereby putting herself and her baby in harm’s way.

However, the treatment for depression in pregnant women often depends on how severe the symptoms are. The treatment options most likely include psychotherapy and antidepressants. Seek intervention from your healthcare provider as soon as you are experiencing the signs of depression.

Is Exercise Safe During Pregnancy?

Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or not before pregnancy, as soon as you saw the two lines on the pregnancy test stick, you immediately became cautious in every move, fearing any wrong movement would harm the precious little cargo in your womb. Indeed, healthcare providers discourage exercises for the first trimester.

10 Things About 2nd Trimester

After passing the first trimester of pregnancy you have finally survived the most difficult period of pregnancy with morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, mood swings and many other symptoms repeatedly. Let’s have a look at 10 things about the second trimester of pregnancy:

Physical Changes During Pregnancy

Your body goes through enormous physical changes during pregnancy. Some of these physical changes may cause aches and pains as well as discomforts. Luckily there are a few tips and tricks that can hopefully make going through such physical changes easier.

Make Your Pregnancy a Healthy One

A healthy pregnancy not only benefits your growing baby, but also benefits you. This all starts with a healthy diet.  A healthy diet is vital when you are pregnant. There is no magic trick to a “pregnancy diet”. A balanced diet is all that you (and your baby!) need.