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Early Pregnancy Weight Gain Linked to Gestational Diabetes

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When you become pregnant, it can be the happiest time of your life. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for a while, the final realization that you are pregnant can fill you with joy and with gratitude. But while you might think this is a time when you can begin to gain weight and enjoy all of the foods you crave, this is not necessarily the best idea. For those who are at a normal weight or who are overweight, early pregnancy weight gain has been linked with developing gestational diabetes. When this occurs the pregnancy will become high risk and can lead to a number of possible pregnancy complications for both mother and baby.


Healthy Weight Gain During Early Pregnancy

The old idea that you need to eat for two people when you are pregnant is simply not true. Though the body does require more calories in order to gain weight to support the baby, gaining too much in your early pregnancy can increase your risk of complications, according to numerous studies. Most pregnancy experts suggest that most women should gain only 4 pounds in the first trimester, though some will gain less due to morning sickness and food aversions while others will gain a bit more, particularly if they are carrying multiples. This way, the body gains what it needs to gain, but it doesn’t gain so much that the health risks are heightened. Eating more fruits and vegetables will help a woman to have healthy weigh gain during early pregnancy without going overboard.


Complications Associated with Gestational Diabetes

Though gestational diabetes can be controlled with diet, exercise and insulin, this is not a disease to be ignored. Diabetes can cause the body to have difficulty maintaining a healthy blood pressure, which can put undue stress on the baby as they grow in the body. The more the baby grows, the more stress will be placed on mom’s body as well. Studies have shown that mothers with gestational diabetes can have larger babies, which increases the risk of problems during delivery. These problems can include preeclampsia, which can be fatal in some women.


Reducing the Risk of Gestational Diabetes

It’s recommended that pregnant women only eat a slight bit more than they were eating before they got pregnant – no more than 300 additional calories a day. This way, the risk of developing gestational diabetes is lower and weight loss after baby is born is much easier. In addition, new moms should avoid eating too many sugary foods as these can change the blood sugar levels in the body. Mothers should also exercise regularly in order to enhance the way the body handles sugar and foods which are eaten.


Many mothers have gestational diabetes and have no problems delivering, but others are not as lucky. In some cases, the mother may continue to have diabetes after the baby is born. By limiting weight gain during early pregnancy, mothers can help ensure that they and their baby are healthy for the duration of the pregnancy and beyond.