Gestational Diabetes. How does it change the management of my pregnancy?

Antenatal Care
Gestational Diabetes. How does it change the management of my pregnancy?

Gestational Diabetes. How does it change the management of my pregnancy?

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Gestational Diabetes. How does it change the management of my pregnancy?

The care for those who have been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes should at best involve the help of a nutritionist – dietician, endocrinologist and your obstetrician gynaecologist.

 diet pregnancy

They all work as a team to optimise your blood sugars and at the same time monitor you and your baby ensuring normal growth and a safe delivery.

In Dubai it is common the physicians to work in isolation and a system should be in place to ensure the team has the best communication in particular between the endocrinologist and obstetrician gynaecologist.

Common interventions other changes of the diet are;

Sugar self-monitoring; your endocrinologist will provide you with the kit and instruction how to best monitor daily your sugars to ensure you achieve your targets.

Insulin treatment; Some women even with a good diet may need insulin to control their blood sugar. It is important for those who need insulin and their immediate family to have access to training how to deal with proper monitoring and what to do in cases of hypoglycaemia – low sugars.

Specialist ultrasound scans; Those mothers who have been diagnosed in the first trimester with Diabetes and especially those that require insulin do need targeted organ ultrasound scans as there is a higher risk for anomalies.  many of these mothers will be found to have type II diabetes rather than Gestational Diabetes.

Monitor baby’s growth in mothers with Gestational Diabetes; Your obstetrician will perform regular growth and dopplers ultrasound scans to monitor your baby’s growth. For those mothers who require insulin the involvement of Fetal – Maternal medicine specialist / perinatologist can offer the best of antenatal pregnancy care.

Intervention for delivery; If you have been diagnosed to have Gestational Diabetes you may be offered an induction of labour earlier than usual. In some cases your doctor may suggest a CS as the best mode of delivery if the baby appears to be too big.

Changes in diet — To learn what changes you should make in your diet, you will meet with a dietitian or nurse. The following are some general dietary recommendations in mothers with Gestational Diabetes:

  • Avoid high-calorie snacks and desserts, including soda with sugar, fruit punch, candy, chips, cookies, cakes, and full-fat ice cream
  • You can use artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame (Nutrasweet®), sucralose (Splenda®), stevioside (Stevia®), or acesulfame potassium (Sunnet®).
  • These sweeteners have not been linked to an increased risk of birth defects.
  • Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, at least five servings a day. Some fruits (like grapes, dried fruit) can increase your blood sugar level a lot and should be eaten in limited amounts. Don’t eat a lot of starchy vegetables (eg, potatoes), but eat as many non-starchy fruits or vegetables as you like.
  • Choose foods with whole grains. This includes whole-wheat bread, brown rice, or whole-wheat pasta instead of white bread, white rice, or regular pasta.
  • If you eat red meat, eat a small amount and only a few times during the week. Choose lean cuts of meat that end in “loin”. Remove skin from chicken and turkey before eating.
  • Choose low- or fat-free dairy products, such as skim milk, non fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese
  • Use liquid oils (olive, canola) instead of solid fats (butter, margarine, shortening) for cooking

Do not take gestational diabetes lightly.  Discuss pregnancy care with your obstetrician to get the best plan for your pregnancy that is in harmony with your personal needs.


Useful Information; 



Dr George Michailidis, MRCOG

Specialist in Fetal & Maternal Medicine

Consultant Obstetrician Gynecologist

Genesis Perinatal Care Clinic, Dubai, UAE

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