In preparing for pregnancy, self-care to prevent complications is vitally important for both mother and child. Among the USA’s mothers-to-be, we are seeing a rise in gestational diabetes. Currently, 200,000 women are newly diagnosed each year.
Gestational diabetes leads to a greater risk of developing Diabetes Type II (insulin resistance) for the young mother, shortly following her pregnancy. Furthermore, there is considerable risk to the infant, including preterm birth, an enlarged heart, nervous system dysfunction, respiratory difficulties and abnormal blood sugar regulation.
Reasonable and effective lifestyle changes to prevent gestational diabetes can be initiated before and during pregnancy, ensuring greater health for mother and child. A recent study published through NIH revealed yet another easy and non-invasive method toward decreasing this risk: reduction in dietary animal fats.
According to the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a higher dietary intake of animal fats and cholesterol is linked to a greater risk of developing gestational diabetes. Even with other lifestyle changes in place, such as increased exercise, the link remains significant. Also important was the finding that other non-animal dietary fats did not increase the risk of mothers-to-be developing gestational diabetes.
This study’s findings reinforce the importance of using everyday changes in diet, activity and general lifestyle to prepare for pregnancy and future health. Speak with your doctor about changes that could serve you and your future family best.
Dr. Kaley Bourgeois
High animal fat diet increases gestational diabetes risk. NIH News, Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Care of the infant of the diabetic mother. Curr Diab Rep. 2012 Feb;12(1):4-15.