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What is gestational diabetes?

ORLANDO, Fla. – Once a woman becomes pregnant, there are many risks that she faces during her pregnancy such as reproductive abnormalities, delivering prematurely, chromosomal problems and even miscarriages. However, there are ways moms can protect themselves from fighting one particular complication.

It’s one of the happiest moments in the life of most mom’s: becoming pregnant, but there are a lot of risks involved.

Karen Elkind-Hirsch, PhD, Woman’s Hospital Research Director, Baton Rouge, says, “People are defied because before I got pregnant, I didn't have diabetes. I now have diabetes when I'm pregnant.”

That is called gestational diabetes. Nine out of every one hundred pregnant women will develop the condition. And having a family member with diabetes or one who had a baby over nine pounds just increases the risk. And that risk continues beyond your delivery.

“While gestational diabetes goes away after you deliver, your risk for Type II diabetes does not go away,” continued. Dr. Elkind-Hirsch.

So how do you lower the risk? First, include fiber in your diet: for example, whole-grain crackers and breads, cereals, bananas, raspberries, peas and broccoli. Studies showed that just ten grams of fiber can reduce the risk by 26 percent. Also try taking the stairs, doing yoga, or just playing outside with the kids. It’s recommended to get about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise four to five times a week.

Between 24 and 28 weeks, a pregnant woman needs to have a gestational diabetes screening. If you need extra help, doctors may prescribe insulin to you. There are no negative effects towards your baby, and it will help regulate your body‘s blood sugar levels.

Contributors to this news report include: Keon Broadnax, Field Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.