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Why you should avoid excess sugar while pregnant

Pregnancy By Esther Muchene
During pregnancy you have to be careful with what you eat as it affects you and your unborn baby (Shutterstock)

Proper nutrition during pregnancy is one of the most crucial determinants of a healthy pregnancy. This is a period where you have to be careful with what you eat because it directly affects you and your unborn baby.

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You’re supposed to avoid eating too much junk food and focus on healthy eating along with a consistent exercise routine.

Sugar is probably the sneakiest health risks during a pregnancy. It can slither its way into your life and cause all sorts of problems even long after your pregnancy.

You have to be extremely cautious of how much sugar you’re consuming so that you avoid these complications.

i.Maternal obesity

There are so many problems that come as a result of obesity especially in pregnancy. Normally, there is some weight gain that occurs as your baby develops so bulking up on the excess sugar could put you at high risk of gaining even more weight.

This will cause issues like heart disease and exacerbate pregnancy symptoms throughout. Even worse, this could be fatal for both mother and child.

ii.Delivery complications

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A pregnancy can appear to be smooth until the delivery date. Excessive sugar is linked to increased chances of C-section deliveries and traumatic births because the baby might be larger than usual (macrosomia).

Fetal macrosomia occurs when the excess glucose is transported to the baby which gets stored as fat. This will mean that they can’t be delivered through a normal vaginal birth and if they do, it increases the chances of complications like injuries during delivery.

Proper nutrition during pregnancy is one of the most crucial determinants of a healthy pregnancy (Shutterstock)

iii.Developmental problems

The unborn baby is also more likely to develop both short term and long-term health problems. They’ll have cognitive problems like memory problems which could cause them to struggle to keep up with other kids in school, they can develop chronic heart disease, respiratory problems due to underdeveloped lungs and other health issues.

This is unfortunate because they may have to spend most of their lives in and out of hospital getting medication and undergoing treatments.

iv.Increased chance of complications from diabetes

You know that if you have gestational diabetes you’re supposed to carefully monitor your sugar intake. Although it’s not necessarily linked to sugar, it can certainly be aggravated by too much sugar intake.

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The end result of not being careful is that a child is at a higher risk of developing obesity and diabetes in the long run. Introducing a child to excess sugar even before they are born has a role to play in their sugar cravings and sugar addiction.

How can you manage your sugar intake while pregnant?

  • Avoid triggers

You have to stay away from those sugary snacks as much as you can. If you’re dealing with stress eating, seek therapy.

  • Be wary of the hidden sugars

Check the ingredients list of whatever it is your eating and you’ll be surprised at how much sugar you’re having. Also, don’t be fooled by the ‘diet’ tags on the items you buy.

  • Calm your cravings with healthier options

Find healthier options and recipes that are just as delicious.

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