I have diabetes. How should I eat while pregnant?

If you already have diabetes and would like to get pregnant, your chances of having a healthy baby are good. But, it’s important to plan your pregnancy and follow these steps:

  • Get your diabetes under control before you get pregnant. Try to get your blood sugar under control three to six months before you get pregnant.
  • Always keep your blood sugar under control during your pregnancy. Keep food, exercise, and insulin in balance. Talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian to help you follow a special meal plan. Remember, as your baby grows, your body changes, and these changes will affect your sugar levels. If your blood sugar rises too high, the increased sugar crossing into the placenta can result in a large, over-developed fetus with birth defects or an infant with blood sugar level problems.
  • Be sure to get enough of the B vitamin folic acid, every day. Women with diabetes might be at increased risk for having a baby with a serious birth defect. Getting enough folic acid each day can help reduce this risk.

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that begins during pregnancy and usually goes away after the birth of the baby. If you have gestational diabetes, this means that you have a high amount of sugar in your blood during pregnancy. This form of diabetes can be controlled through diet, medication, and exercise, but if left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health problems for both you and your baby. If you develop gestational diabetes, your doctor will refer you to a registered dietitian who can help you with special meal plans to control your blood sugar.