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A Walking Plan for Pregnant Women with Gestational Diabetes: A Feasibility Study

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Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a well-established predictor for the development of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) later in life. The incidence of GDM has been on the rise over

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a well-established predictor for the development of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) later in life. The incidence of GDM has been on the rise over the past 30 years and is the leading co-morbidity during pregnancy (Ferrara, 2007). Physical activity (PA) in combination with nutritional therapy has been shown to achieve glycemic control in women with GDM and is therefore first line therapy for management (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology [ACOG], 2017; Center for Disease Control and Prevent [CDC], 2018).

Recommendations for PA in pregnancy include 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise most days of the week (ACOG 2015; U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2018). Because of this, an innovative project was created to determine the feasibility of adding a walking plan into GDM care. Participants in the project received verbal and written instruction on an unsupervised structured walking plan set up for a beginner to gradually increase PA to the recommended time of 150 minutes per week for a total of four weeks. Eight women were interested, recruited, and enrolled in the project.

Results show that overall, participant PA increased. One hundred percent agreed that the walking plan was useful and increased their awareness about PA. The addition of a walking plan in GDM teaching is an effective strategy to lower serum blood glucose (SBG) levels and for meeting PA recommendations during pregnancy.

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  • 2019-04-29