Here are some ways to reduce your risk of gestational diabetes:

    
  • Maintain a normal weight gain during pregnancy.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a Normal Weight Gain During Pregnancy

    The National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine makes the following recommendations regarding weight gain during pregnancy:

    Weight classification before pregnancy*Institute of Medicine recommended gestational weight gain
    Underweight (BMI 19.7 and under)28 to 40 lb
    Normal (BMI 19.8-24.9)25 to 35 lb
    Overweight (BMI 25-29.9)15 to 25 lb
    Obese (BMI 30 or greater)15 to 25 lb

    *These values are based on body mass index (BMI)—the ratio of your weight in kilograms to your height in meters squared. Recognize that these values are for Caucasians, which may not apply to Asians who have smaller body frames and different percentage of body fat.

    Besides increasing your risk for gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain during pregnancy is also a risk factor for obesity post-pregnancy. It should be noted that the subject of recommended pregnancy weight gain remains somewhat controversial and that some feel that the above guidelines are too high. Talk with your doctor about what range of weight gain is right for you.

    Eat a Healthy Diet

    Even before pregnancy begins, nutrition is a primary factor in the health of the mother and the baby. Besides lowering your risk of gestational diabetes, eating a healthy diet lowers your and your baby’s risk of serious complications during and after pregnancy. A healthy diet is one that is low in saturated fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

    Talk to your doctor about whether you should take probiotic supplements to reduce your risk of gestational diabetes.