Diabetes During Pregnancy: What to Eat?

Many people with diabetes experience a decrease of insulin or no insulin production at all in their pancreas. As a result, blood sugar levels quickly rise, causing low energy and issues with significant body systems.

There are three known types of diabetes: gestational, type 1, and type 2. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system begins to attack and destroy beta cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Meanwhile, type 2 diabetes happens when a person lacks insulin response, preventing food from adequately breaking down.

Finally, gestational diabetes often occurs in pregnant women who did not have diabetes before their pregnancy. Gestational diabetes typically occurs around the second trimester. After delivery, approximately 50% of women who experienced this condition will develop type 2 diabetes.

Read More: Is Stress During Pregnancy Bad For Overall Health?

Can diabetes affect a baby during pregnancy?

The short answer: yes.

Diabetes can cause multiple problems during pregnancy and increase congenital disabilities when left in poor condition. Doctors often recommend changing diets when a woman goes through this situation during her pregnancy.

There are several lifestyle changes a woman can make when dealing with diabetes during pregnancy. They should know what to eat and understand how it can help them care for themselves.


  • Don’t skip out on breakfast.

Pregnancy hormones are most potent in the mornings, which makes controlling blood sugar levels difficult. Most breakfast staples contain high levels of starch and sugar, which brings us to the question: what can a pregnant diabetic eat for breakfast?

Eating whole grains is best during this time as it slows down digestion and prevents blood sugar from quickly rising. Including protein intake in the morning can also be beneficial.


  • Measure your serving sizes

Overeating can cause sugar levels to increase rapidly and lead to health issues for the baby. Eating smaller meals with light snacks in between can help with blood sugar control. Pregnant women should limit starchy foods in small amounts, such as rice, noodles, and potatoes. Too much milk intake can also be harmful and should be limited to one 8 oz. cup a day.


  • Avoid sugar

Limit or altogether avoid eating foods high in sugar, such as desserts, syrups, juice, honey, and other junk foods. Additionally, pregnant women should limit fruit intake as they contain high amounts of natural sugar. However, artificial sweeteners such as stevia and sucralose are considered safe.


  • Increase fiber intake

Foods high in fiber such as brown rice, whole oats, and whole-grain bread help keep blood sugar levels in control. Additionally, these foods can help in combating fatigue typically experienced in diabetic pregnancies. Other significant sources of fiber are vegetables such as broccoli, peas, and artichokes.


Health reminders

Dealing with diabetes during pregnancy can be challenging for both the mother and baby. However, with the proper precautions, a healthy delivery is possible.

Eating healthy is for the benefit of not only the mother but also her child. Doctors recommend maintaining a good diet because it is the best way to ensure that the body acquires all the necessary nutrients to function correctly.

Low-impact exercise can also be beneficial for controlling blood sugar levels among pregnant women. While these habits may be challenging to stick with initially, many women find their efforts rewarding over time.

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