20% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes toward the latter part of their pregnancy. And what that means is that although their bodies are producing insulin, it can't use that insulin. So you tend to have a lot of glucose in the blood. So you have high blood glucose.
And the problem there is unless that is taken care of, it can affect the unborn baby in a negative way, because while insulin can't cross the placenta, the sugar, the glucose can. So the baby can't be getting a lot of excess sugar, which can lead to what I call the "fatty baby syndrome." The baby can get extremely fat or obese while it's in the womb.
And some of the things that you can do obviously if that happens, you'll be working with your doctor and your health care providers very closely to monitor that, because it can be a serious condition. You may probably have to be taking insulin injections - depends on the severity of your situation. But you also have to have a very specific nutritional plan. And you need to be working with a dietician to develop that plan that is specific to you based on your height, your weight, the severity of your insulin resistance. All of those things are important.
Some basic things that you need to look out for is when you eat, you want to make sure that you have a balance of carbohydrates and protein and healthy fats at each meal. And that's important because when we eat just simple carbohydrates, such as the baked goods - the cookies and the cakes and the muffins and the juices - that is just pure sugar. So that goes directly to the blood stream. There's nothing that has to be done. It doesn't have to be broken down very much. It goes directly to the blood stream.
When you eat complex carbohydrates like oatmeal and whole grains and lots of vegetables and fruits with protein, it slows down the release of those nutrients to the blood stream dramatically. So that's the way you want to go. You don't want to eat things that are going to go right into the blood stream and cause you to have a sugar high, because again your body cannot use the insulin that it's producing, so all that sugar is going to remain in the blood stream and possibly get into the placenta.