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Type 2 Diabetes – Medical Nutrition Therapy Helps With Newborn Birth Weight in Gestational Diabetes

In May of 2017, the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics reported medical nutrition therapy was found to be helpful in keeping newborns from becoming overweight in cases where their mother was diagnosed with Gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is the kind diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. It affects about 7 percent of pregnancies…

  • a fetus receiving high levels of sugar can store it as fat, just as in adults.
  • overweight children often become obese adults and are then at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
  • mothers of overweight newborns are at risk of needing a c-section.

Scientists at Herning Hospital in Herning, Denmark, found the longer the mother diagnosed with Gestational diabetes followed their prescribed healthy diet, the lower the birth weight of their baby. They compared four hundred and thirty-six women who had been diagnosed with Gestational diabetes with two hundred and fifty-four healthy pregnant women. The women with Gestational diabetes were given medical nutrition therapy to follow…

  • the participants who followed the medical nutrition plan best had infants with the lowest birth weight among the diabetic mothers. Birth weight was 1.2 g less per day of diet treatment.
  • overweight babies were more common among non-diabetic women than among the mother who had been diagnosed with Gestational diabetes and treated with diet therapy.

A total of 27 percent of non-diabetic women had an infant weighing over 4 kg, compared with 18 percent of diabetic women controlling their condition with diet.

The University of California in San Francisco, United States, recommends pregnant mothers consult with a registered dietitian when Gestational diabetes is diagnosed in the second half of the pregnancy. Dietitians calculate how much carbohydrate is needed and how much should be eaten throughout the day…

  • three meals a day and two or three snacks are important to keep blood sugar levels normal and steady.
  • the equivalent of two slices of bread each meal is recommended, although diets must be individualized according to height, weight, preferences, and needs.

Mothers and unborn babies both need proper nutrition at this time.

Some foods to be avoided include…

  • fruit juices – high in sugar and absorbed quickly.
  • sugary desserts and snacks – raise blood sugar levels quickly.
  • added sugars, including syrups and honey.
  • sugary beverages

Sucralose (Splenda) is often recommended as a substitute for sugar because it is the same molecule as glucose but turned inside out. It will not raise blood sugar levels. Bacteria cannot digest it, so it is better for the mother’s teeth as well.

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