I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. What should I do now? Prenatal Care

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Pregnant woman in denim shirt lying on the couch.
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A diagnosis of gestational diabetes might seem devastating, but with a few diet and exercise changes, many moms find it manageable. Check out what experts recommend and how other moms handled their GD.

See a Dietitian

"A dietitian can help give you guidelines to create a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet to control blood sugars. You will also be taught to monitor blood glucose levels first thing in the morning and two hours after eating meals. You will be given a daily exercise regimen to help control blood glucose levels until you deliver. All of these dietary and lifestyle habits will help control blood glucose levels and lower your risk of preterm labor, needing a cesarean section, or having a...

"A dietitian can help give you guidelines to create a low-carbohydrate and high-protein diet to control blood sugars. You will also be taught to monitor blood glucose levels first thing in the morning and two hours after eating meals. You will be given a daily exercise regimen to help control blood glucose levels until you deliver. All of these dietary and lifestyle habits will help control blood glucose levels and lower your risk of preterm labor, needing a cesarean section, or having a very large baby born with low blood sugar levels." -- Sherry Ross, MD, OB/GYN, and women's health expert at Providence Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica, CA

Don't Beat Yourself Up

"Between 3 to 5 percent of women will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) during their pregnancies, and rates are on the rise, likely due to the fact that women are getting pregnant later these days. Certain women are at higher risk, including those who are obese, have high blood pressure, are carrying multiples, have a family history of diabetes, have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), are African-American, Asian, or Latino, or are 35 or older." -- Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, author of Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom's Healthy Eating Guide

Control Your Diet for Baby's Sake

"I know it's hard to change your eating habits -- I'm a carb and sweets fanatic myself. Just remember: It's hopefully only for your pregnancy and then it'll be gone. In the end, it's all worth it!"

Balance Your Meals

"I'm not a big meat eater, but I aimed for a quarter protein, quarter carbs, and half plate of veggies each day. Avoid fruits with high sugar content or have them in moderation. I had to test my sugar four times a day. Hang in there."

Watch Your Portions

"You can still eat carbs, but not huge portions of them. I haven't had many problems keeping my sugar under control using that method. In the end, you'll probably gain less weight with your pregnancy since your diet is so restricted, so that is a bonus. Oh, and exercise if you can."

Don't Worry Too Much

"As long as you stick to real foods -- nothing out of a box or package -- you're on the right track. Keeping stress levels low will help too."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.