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New mothers with diabetes face additional challenges during the postpartum period as they navigate the demands of motherhood and manage their chronic conditions. These women may experience fluctuations in their blood sugar levels due to changes in their hormones and increased stress levels. They also have to carefully manage their diet and medication regimens while caring for a newborn, which can be overwhelming and exhausting. The physical recovery from childbirth can also be more difficult for mothers with diabetes, as they may have a higher risk of complications such as infection or delayed healing. Additionally, these women may also experience feelings of guilt or worry about how their diabetes may affect their ability to care for their child. 

Dr Nivethitha Karthika, MBBS, MD(general medicine), DM (Endocrinology), Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist, Anya Endocrine and Diabetes Centre, Madurai, managing diabetes while embracing motherhood's joys demands strategic dietary choices for both maternal health and the child's well-being. Key guidelines help new mothers find this equilibrium:

1. Balanced Meals and Portions: Prioritise balanced meals with whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables and fruits that have low glycemic indices. Control portions to prevent blood sugar spikes and avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.

2. Tailored Meal Plans: Collaborate with a dietitian for personalised meal plans that stabilise blood sugar levels while providing essential nutrients.

3. Carbohydrate Counting: Understand carbohydrate counting to evenly distribute



intake for steady blood sugar levels.

4. Low Glycemic Index with high protein foods: Include low GI foods like legumes, lean meat and dairy products with major meals for sustained energy and stable blood sugar.

5. Healthy Fats: Include sources like avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil and ghee(in moderation) for essential nutrients.

6. Hydration and Fibre: Stay hydrated and consume dietary fibre from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for stable blood sugar levels.

7. Physical Activity: Engage in recommended physical activity to manage blood sugar levels and overall health.

8. Stress Management: Practice stress reduction through meditation, yoga, or deep breathing to positively impact blood sugar control.

9. Restorative Sleep: Prioritise adequate sleep to prevent disruptions in blood sugar levels and promote well-being.

10. Blood Sugar Monitoring: Regularly monitor blood sugar levels for timely adjustments.

11. Open Communication with Healthcare Providers: Keep healthcare professionals updated for effective treatment adjustments.

12. Breastfeeding Benefits: If possible, consider breastfeeding for blood sugar regulation and infant nutrition.

Each diabetes journey is unique. These guidelines form a base, but collaborating with healthcare professionals for a tailored plan is essential. Through proactive, informed approaches and strong healthcare connections, you can aptly manage diabetes while embracing motherhood's joys.
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