Sitting in the doctor’s waiting room holding a cup of thick orange liquid wasn’t how I wanted to start my day. Being pregnant with twins, I was barely comfortable sitting in a plastic chair. The last thing I wanted was to drink a disgusting concoction just to be told whether or not I had gestational diabetes. Pregnancy is beautiful, but this is definitely one of the ugly unwelcome parts. The glucose test sucks, but if you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes, making adjustments to how you eat will help keep you and your baby safe. And yes, that includes having new gestational diabetes bedtime snacks suitable for maintaining a safe and healthy pregnancy.
What is gestational diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is diabetes being diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. According to Mayo Clinic, it affects how your cells use sugar or glucose and can result in high blood sugar levels.
“Women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy and requiring a cesarean delivery due to larger than average infants,” says Jill Purdie, OB-GYN. “As many as 70% of women who have diabetes during pregnancy may develop diabetes later in their life.” In these cases, Purdie advises gestational diabetes can also cause certain risks for the baby. They can experience blood sugar regulation issues, jaundice, or even some birth trauma brought on by macrosomia, which is a baby being larger than average.
Avoiding sugary foods at night will help keep you on the right track. “The body processes sugar quickly, and eating sugary items just before bed may cause the blood sugar to drop in the middle of the night,” Purdie says. So it’s time to chuck the sweets. But all hope for a happy palate is not lost.
What Makes A Healthy Bedtime Snack For Gestational Diabetes
“Moms should plan to eat three meals and three snacks a day to keep their blood glucose levels more stable. It is also important to eat plenty of proteins, which also help keep the blood sugar stable,” Purdie says. And this means your snacks should also fit into this safe frame. They should include “healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds and nut butters like almond or peanut.” But if you have a sweet tooth, then you can try more complex carbohydrates like berries, Greek yogurt, or sweet potatoes. It may take a little preparation, but when those munchies hit, you’ll be glad you did.
Here are few options that you can stock in your pantry starting now.
Easy-To-Grab Bedtime Snacks For Gestational Diabetes
- Apple slices with peanut butter (or sugar-free sunflower butter)
- Cucumbers and hummus
- Tuna and whole-grain crackers
- Handful of almonds
- Beef sticks
- Trail mix
- Whole-grain crackers and cheese
- Celery sticks
- Hard-boiled eggs
- High-fiber cereal
- Peanut butter on multigrain toast
Sweet Bedtime Snacks For Gestational Diabetes
- Low-carb peanut butter cookies (sugar-free)
- No-bake apple pie
- Sugar-free Greek yogurt and berries
- Protein cheesecake
- Chia pudding with berries
- A grapefruit, strawberry, and blueberry fruit mix
- Homemade low-carb cheesecake
- Cottage cheese, berries, and cinnamon
There are plenty of additional recipes friendly for gestational diabetes that you can try if you want to venture out. Have fun with it and keep in mind that every healthy food choice you make is beneficial to you and your baby. You never know, creating these healthier eating habits may feel so good that you want to continue beyond pregnancy.
Jill Purdie, OB/GYN, medical director at Northside Women’s Specialists, part of Pediatrix Medical Group
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