Diabetes Forecast

7 Self-Care Strategies for Mothers With Diabetes


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Throughout May, the American Diabetes Association is celebrating moms with diabetes. Visit diabetes.org/share-your-story to see how you can tell your story or be involved. #MomWithDiabetes

1. Monitoring

Talk to your kids about your diabetes. Explain to them that Mommy needs juice when her blood glucose is too low. Involve them in the process of checking your diabetes devices so they’ll better understand your condition.

2. Healthy Eating

If you have type 2 diabetes, your children are also at risk. Set up a healthy environment that will benefit your entire family: Minimize processed foods, fill the fridge with fruits and vegetables, and learn to cook with whole grains and legumes.

3. Reducing Risks

High blood glucose can harm your baby during the first weeks of pregnancy, when critical development takes place. Get your blood glucose levels as close to normal as is safely possible before conceiving (ideally an A1C of 6.5 percent) to lower the risk of birth defects.

4. Taking Medication

Hectic mornings derailing your medication schedule? Link taking your meds with a habit. Coffee lovers might wash down meds with water before that first cup of Joe. News junkies might take their insulin before reading the day’s headlines.

5. Being Active

Exercise goes a long way toward managing blood glucose, which is key to avoiding pregnancy complications such as preeclampsia and large-for-gestational-age babies. Work your way up to walking briskly for at least 30 minutes five days per week.

6. Problem-Solving

The online community of moms with diabetes is priceless. Connect on Instagram as well as the Pregnancy & Diabetes forum on DiabetesSisters.org and T1DSugarMommas on Facebook.

7. Healthy Coping

When a disempowering thought comes along, mentally tag it and kick it to the curb. Replace it with an empowering one. If you’re exhausted from battling lows all night, tell yourself, “Tonight, I’ll feed the kids dinner early so we can all get to bed earlier.”

Sources: Marina Chaparro, RDN, CDCES, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes care and education specialist at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, and founder of the family nutrition program Nutrichicos; Cynthia Katsingris, CEO and founder of This Diabetic; Marie McDonnell, MD, director of the Brigham Diabetes Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston



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