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f you are thinking of starting a family

but are overweight or obese, you

should consider losing the extra weight

before you conceive.

According to a recent study reported in



, one of the strongest risk factors

for diabetes during pregnancy (called

gestational diabetes) is being overweight.

Research shows that obese or overweight

women have more than four times the risk

of getting gestational diabetes.


Gestational diabetes occurs when

your body can’t make enough insulin

during pregnancy. Because your body

goes through so many changes during

pregnancy, including weight gain and

increased hormones, your body tends

to use insulin less effectively and can

become insulin-resistant. If your pancreas

can’t make enough insulin, you will get

gestational diabetes. If you are overweight

going into pregnancy, your pancreas may

already be working overtime.




Before Pregnancy

Can Reduce Risk

Although gestational diabetes usually

goes away after delivery, it’s still a serious

condition. If the disease isn’t controlled

properly, you run the risk of having

dangerously high blood pressure and/

or an increased birth weight of the baby,

making delivery difficult. In addition, the

baby may have breathing problems, and

he or she has a higher risk of becoming

obese or developing diabetes.


Typically women are tested for

gestational diabetes between 24 and

28 weeks of pregnancy by a simple blood

test. If you’re at higher risk, your doctor

may test earlier.

ValleyCare’s antepartum testing center

can offer peace of mind to expectant

parents by using the latest technology

coupled with the expertise of trained birth

center nurses. Testing is offered on an

outpatient basis by physician referral.

Sources: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists;


; National Institutes of Health

If you do find yourself with

gestational diabetes,

ValleyCare’s Sweet Success program

offers education and support. Certified

instructors help you control your

glucose levels and reduce

complications of pregnancy. For more

information, visit






Apple slices with peanut butter


Mix together 1 tablespoon

unsalted natural peanut butter, 1

teaspoon real maple syrup, and ¼

teaspoon ground cinnamon. Serve

with apple slices for dipping.


Un-fried cheese stickwith



cheese stick and 1/4 cup marinara

sauce for dipping.


Parmesan popcorn:

Lightly spray air

popped popcorn with olive oil and sprinkle

with parmesan cheese.


Veggiemini pizza:

Toast half of a whole-

grain English muffin. Drizzle with marinara

sauce, part-skimmozzarella cheese and

veggies of choice. Broil until cheese melts.


Homemade trail mix:

Mix together raw

almonds or walnuts, dried cranberries,

raisins, and high fiber cereal pieces.


Waffle it:

Fill a waffle cone with

cut up fruit and top with low-fat