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Dr. David A. Sacks of Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Bellflower, Calif., said switching to a healthier diet could help other pregnant women limit weight gain, too. More large babies are born to overweight or obese women who don't have diabetes, he said.
"This is a real easy therapy to apply to every single pregnant lady," said Sacks, who wrote an editorial about the study in the journal.
Even before she got pregnant, Lorenda Donaugh knew all about gestational diabetes. She works with Landon at Ohio State, doing ultrasounds for his patients, and ended up becoming one after she was diagnosed at 28 weeks with a mild case.
"I knew it was going to be hard work. It takes a lot of time and planning," said the 27-year-old, who lives in the Columbus suburb of Westerville.
Donaugh, who was not part of the study, monitored her blood sugar several times a day, modified her diet and took extra walks. She eventually took a diabetes medication.
Planning meals and cutting back on sugar was the hardest part, she said. Whenever she was tempted, she thought of her baby. "Being pregnant, you have all those cravings, but you still have to limit that food," she said.
The work paid off. She delivered a healthy daughter on Sept. 14. Adelynn weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces and her mom had only gained a modest 22 pounds.
On the Net:
New England Journal: http://www.nejm.org/
American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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