Exercise & Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when higher than normal blood glucose levels occur during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition, however if it is not properly managed, the additional sugar in the mums blood stream will go to the baby resulting in a heavier birth weight and placing stress on the baby’s developing pancreas. Poorly managed gestational diabetes can have potentially life threatening reprocussions for the unborn baby. The prevalence of gestational diabetes is slowly rising. Risk factors that increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes: - Poor lifestyle - Being over 30 years of age - Overweight or obese - Family history of type 2 diabetes - History of gestational diabetes with previous pregnancies - Certain ethnicities How exercise helps: - Increases the amount of sugar that can be burned by cells in the body - Reduces blood sugar levels through the additional energy expended during exercise - The time after exercise further assists in reducing blood sugar levels - Resistance training maintains muscle mass, protects joints and can be modified for any stage of pregnancy Things to remember: - Avoid exercising in the peak insulin action - Check your blood glucose levels 30 minutes prior to commencing exercise and again after you exercise - Expect your exercise capacity to change over the course of the pregnancy, so do what feels appropriate on that day – try to stick to moderate intensity Before commencing exercise, check with your obstetrician or midwife and seek guidance from our exercise physiologist for a individualised exercise program by calling 4655 5588.