Physical Activity for Women with Gestational Diabetes

Moderate physical activity is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. For women with gestational diabetes, it also helps the insulin in their body work better.  It can be an effective way to help control blood sugar levels.

Moderate physical activity is not the same as daily, routine activities, such as shopping, doing household chores, or washing dishes. Activities such as walking, prenatal aerobics class, or swimming can help control blood sugar levels.

Your health care provider may tell you not to do any moderate physical activity because of other health conditions you have or because of complications with your pregnancy. Do not begin any physical activity without talking to your health care provider first.

Most women can stay active throughout their pregnancies. However, your health care provider may recommend that you become less active as you get closer to your due date.

General Guidelines for Physical Activity

Do Don’t
Moderate and regular physical activity unless your health care provider tells you not to. Get too tired while working out or doing physical activity.
Choose activities like swimming, that do not require a lot of standing or balance. Do any activity while lying on your back when you are in your 2nd or 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
Wear loose, light clothing that will not make you sweat too much or get too hot. Perform activities in very hot weather.
Drink a lot of water before, during, and after your activity. Perform activities that may bump or hurt your belly, or that may cause you to lose your balance.
Eat a healthy diet and gain the right amount of weight. Fast (skip meals) or do physical activity when you are hungry.
Watch your level of exertion (Can you talk easily?). Over-exert yourself.