Prenatal exercise: Safety first

 

The good news is that exercise is an effective way to keep your blood sugars in the normal range if you have gestational diabetes. Your obstetrician or endocrinologist should always be attuned to the exercises you are doing. With your input, he or she will put together a dietary, exercise, and medication regimen that will help you maintain tight blood sugar control.

It's important to monitor your blood sugar levels closely during exercise to avoid hypoglycemia, which may be more common in the combined setting of pregnancy and exercise. It is not uncommon for some women with diabetes during pregnancy to monitor their blood sugar levels eight to ten times per day. Also, your doctor may request that you undergo periodic fetal monitoring to ensure the well- being of your fetus.

Exercise performed safely during pregnancy can lessen your fatigue, improve your self-confidence and mood, reduce backaches and bad posture, and strengthen your endurance during a prolonged labor. It can help you better control your diabetes and steer you to an uncomplicated delivery.

As I conclude this month's Fitness Forum column, please pardon me if it appears composed in a hurried manner. My wife has just informed me that her suitcase is packed and the babies' car seats are installed. The labor and delivery suite has a room reserved in our name. (Now all I need are some instructions to tell me what I'm supposed to do.)

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