Expecting A Baby

Pregnancy And Gestational Diabetes – How To Manage It And Have A Healthy Baby

managing-gestational-diabetes-the-baby-crush-4So, you’ve been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and want to know a little more about it and how you can have a successful pregnancy with it. I want to tell you, it’s not as bad as you think. With a little modification to your life style you are sure to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Managing pregnancy and gestational diabetes is a piece of cake. Here I will explain a little more about it and what you can do to manage it. But first, what is gestational diabetes and how did you get it?

One thing you should know is that gestational diabetes only happens during pregnancy. This doesn’t mean that you have diabetes all the time or that you will have it after pregnancy, it means that your placenta which makes hormones during pregnancy can lead to a buildup of glucose in your blood.

Usually your pancreas will make enough insulin to handle it but if it doesn’t then your blood sugar levels will rise and cause you to have gestational diabetes. It’s nothing to be overly worried about. With proper diet and sugar monitoring you and your baby will be just fine.

The placenta is the organ responsible for providing oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby and removing waste products from your baby’s blood.

To treat gestational diabetes, your doctor may have you do the following:

  • Check your blood sugar four or more times a day.
  • Do urine tests that check for ketones to see if your diabetes is under control
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Try to exercise regularly

What Happens If You Don’t Manage Gestational Diabetes

If your gestational diabetes goes untreated this could cause problems for you and your baby. The extra glucose from your blood is crossing the placenta and going into your baby’s bloodstream. This will cause your managing-gestational-diabetes-the-baby-crush-2baby’s body to produce extra insulin to try to get rid of the extra glucose.

When your baby is born, it can suffer from low blood sugar. This happens because suddenly, the extra glucose your baby was receiving is gone, but your baby’s pancreas is still producing a lot of insulin to take the glucose out of its bloodstream.

  • Other problems with going untreated are high birth weight for your baby. This can make vaginal delivery very difficult, and can result in having a C- section.
  • Sometimes the baby may be injured during vaginal birth.
  • Breathing difficulties after birth.
  • Jaundice.
  • Low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) after birth.

To make it easier on you and your baby you want to make sure to check your blood sugar regularly and eat healthy foods that are low in sugar and carbs.

Managing Gestational Diabetes

managing-gestational-diabetes-the-baby-crush-5I want to assure you, this is doable. It may seem hard at first, but you will quickly find that you are willing to do what it takes to make sure you have a healthy baby and your delivery won’t be a disaster.

If you were overweight when you became pregnant, like me, your doctor will tell you that you shouldn’t gain more that 10 – 15 pounds during your whole pregnancy. Sounds like nothing, right? You’d be surprised how easy it is to achieve this.

I gained about 10 pounds throughout my pregnancy and once my baby was born I ended up losing more weight and being about 15 pounds smaller than I was when I became pregnant.

Some doctors may choose to have you see an endocrinologist and follow a strict diet and exercise, others, like mine could just put you on insulin and have you check your blood 4 times a day with a small prick to your finger.

managing-gestational-diabetes-the-baby-crush-6This is usually done when first waking, an hour after eating breakfast, an hour after eating lunch and at bedtime. I know the thought of pricking your finger doesn’t sound fun at all, but it is manageable and doesn’t hurt at all. Check with your doctor for target blood sugar levels.

*30 percent of the women who develop gestational diabetes, need insulin therapy because diet modification is not enough. Using insulin is safe during pregnancy and women who take insulin still need to continue with a balanced diet and monitoring their blood sugar levels.

Depending on the type of insurance you have your testing supplies could be covered, but if not, I found that my monitor and supplies were awesome when it came to this, and so easy to use. Luckily everything was covered under my insurance so I didn’t have to worry about it, but just in case, I will include a link so you can take a look at what I used during my pregnancy.

Don’t stress out. It really is a piece of cake.

I should probably stop mentioning cake, huh?

Blood Sugar Testing Supplies


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What Kinds Of Foods Can You Eat

managing-gestational-diabetes-the-baby-crush-1If you aren’t taking insulin, you want to make sure you have a balanced, healthy diet. You’ll want to eat plenty of whole fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of lean proteins and healthy fats, moderate amounts of whole grains, and fewer foods that have a lot of sugar, such as soda, fruit juices, and cakes and cookies.

With carbs, less than half the calories you eat should come from them. Most carbs are found in starchy or sugary foods like bread, rice, pasta, cereal, potatoes, peas, corn, fruit, fruit juice, milk, yogurt, cookies, candy, soda, and other sweets.

High-fiber, whole-grain carbs are healthy choices so you don’t have to worry about these, but everything in moderation. Vegetables are good for your blood sugar so you can enjoy lots of them. You’ll want to eat six or more servings a day of high fiber foods.

I always found that when I was craving a little something extra, looking for substitutes such as diet soda, diet fruit juices and sugar free chocolate was always a huge help. You don’t have to give up everything, just find foods that won’t increase you blood sugar. After all, you are pregnant and you are going to have the occasional craving. You just have to be sensible about your choices.

Click Here For A Detailed List Of What You Should Eat During Your Pregnancy To Manage Your Gestational Diabetes

Remember, one to two hours after meals to check your blood sugar to make sure you are staying within a normal range. This should be done 4 times a day. If your blood glucose levels are well controlled, you may be able to start measuring your levels less often.

What Happens After Your Baby Is Born

managing-gestational-diabetes-the-baby-crushOnce your baby is born, your blood sugar levels should go back to normal. Your doctor will check to make sure a few days after giving birth. But, it’s smart to have another test done 6 – 12 weeks after having your baby to make sure they have remained in a normal range.

For your baby, they will also have to have their blood sugar monitored after giving birth. My baby was born 6 pounds at 39 weeks of pregnancy and he was a healthy baby boy. He had his blood sugar checked twice while we were in the hospital and he was in normal range so our pregnancy worked out well.

As long as you stick to a controlled diet of healthy foods and monitor your blood sugar regularly you and your baby should be just fine after giving birth.

What’s In Store For The Future

managing-gestational-diabetes-the-baby-crush-8Once you’ve had gestational diabetes, chances are if you get pregnant again, you will have it then too. Some risk factors are:

  • Being overweight
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Having had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy
  • Being 40 years or older
  • Are African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Or Native American
  • Have given birth to a large baby before (greater than 9 pounds)
  • Have high blood pressure or other medical complications

There is also a risk that you can develop type 2 diabetes later in life but it’s not a definite. The best way to avoid this later on is to create a healthy life style with diet and exercise and monitor the amount of carbs and sugar you eat on a daily basis.

You’re Ready

Now that you know how to manage your gestational diabetes, you are well on your way to having a successful pregnancy and birth. Make sure to follow these simple steps and you and your baby will he healthy than ever.

  • Monitor your blood sugar four times a day
  • Eat balanced meals (check the link for diet recommendations)
  • Stay away from sugary foods and drinks (diet and sugar free is fine)
  • Try to get a little exercise every day

I hope you’ve found this information to be helpful and you have a beautiful and healthy pregnancy and baby. If you have any questions or want to share your experience, please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading my latest post.


References: MedlinePlus, WebMD, MyDr, UCSF Health

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  1. Hi there, this is a very informative post and something every woman should be aware of.
    My sister had gestational diabetes and as she was a bit overweight before she got pregnant, she actually lost weight on her new low carb diet. We where amazed by this as her low sugar diet helped her with so many things: She felt really healthy, her skin was glowing and her hormones evened out. Just shows the damage that sugar can do huh?

    To this day she still follows what she calls her diabetes diet when she needs to lose a few pounds. Weirdly, it’s high fat, which goes to show that it’s actually sugar that makes us fat more than fat does, especially if it’s healthy fats.

    1. Hi Stefanie, This is true, even women who are planning to become pregnant should know more about this so they can prepare themselves for pregnancy. Having a healthy diet and being within a healthy weight before getting pregnant could play a big role in not having gestational diabetes. I’m glad that your sister was able to find a lifestyle that works for her. Maybe if she decides to get pregnant again she can lower her chance of having it with her next pregnancy. Feel free to share this post with her just in case. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience.

  2. Andrea says:

    Wow! You have covered it all in the post! I have thought about gestational diabetes from time to time, and being that I am now 25 weeks pregnant, I will be having the glucose test done to see if I have gestational diabetes. I was getting worried but your post has helped me immensely. I am now able to put things in perspective and know that a diagnosis of gestational diabetes is not the end of the world. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Andrea, don’t worry girl, you got this. Whether you are diagnosed or not, you and your baby will do great. If you don’t pass your glucose test then you have all the information you need right here, and if you do then congrats and your pregnancy should be a breeze. Just don’t stress and continue to keep a healthy diet with light exercise and it will make a big difference. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience and congratulations on your pregnancy.

  3. I am lucky that I didn’t have gestational diabetes during pregnancy but how a woman can handle pregnancy and gestational diabetes at the same time is a mystery for me. Through this article I get a lot of information about it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Juliana, Thanks for stopping by. That’s so good that you didn’t have to deal with ges. diabetes. It can be a handful but for any expectant mom that is curious about the process or does have it, this post is just what they need. Feel free to share it if you know any one in need of this information.

  4. This is a very informative article. I didn’t know much about gestational diabetes until now. I had two children many years ago and fortunately I did not have this issue.
    I am very happy to have come across this article as my two daughters are thinking about having children in the next year or so. If any concern arises about this issue, we can rest assured that it is not usually a big problem. With the right diet, exercise and keeping an eye on the blood sugar levels, everything should be just fine!
    Your article was so well written and easy to read. I really learn a lot when I come and visit your lovely site!
    Thanks again for the information.
    Have an awesome day!

    1. Hi Angela, Thank you. I love putting in the time and effort to help my fellow moms out there, and I love maintaining a clean and beautiful blog. I think it goes a long way in terms of having traffic. I’m glad you didn’t have to worry about gestational diabetes with your pregnancies. It’s manageable, but much easier when you don’t have to worry about it. I had so many things going on with my pregnancy that this was just the icing on the cake. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your experience and complimenting my site.

  5. Great article! I had gestational diabetes, I was so sad and it definitely was a wake up call because I understood that I needed to change my diet, habits, and add exercise or some sort of physical activity in a daily basis. I managed it with diet, checking my glucose levels 4 times a day and close control with my endocrinologist. I didn’t need insulin. I also didn’t have issues giving birth, but the baby had really low sugar levels and immediately was put into special care to give him formula and put his sugar levels to normal. 6 months later I checked my sugar levels and I was good again but the bad news is that 2 years later I am pre-diabetics :'( I am again strict with diet, doing exercise and I am already taking metformin. I am also getting blood tests to check how I am going every 6 months. Hopefully I can reverse my condition while I’m losing weight. Great article, it is so important to inform more on this and you did a great job.

    1. Hi Thais, This was the same for me. I never realized that this could be a factor in my pregnancy because I didn’t have it with my first two pregnancies but seeing as how I am older and was a little overweight, I did have it. I found that through managing it, as you say it really is a wake up call because you realize that all the unhealthy habits you had before you became pregnant you can no longer have. and after the pregnancy it’s better to maintain it to avoid getting type 2 diabetes in the future. I’m sorry you had to continue to go through it, and hopefully things will work out well for you. I found the keto diet to work very well because you are essentially eliminating sugar from your diet and most bad carbs. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Hi Jenny,
    This was a very interesting article and very helpful for those suffering gestational diabetes. I had never heard of it before now. You explained it well, making it easy to understand.
    I’ve had children, but was fortunate enough to not have this problem. In fact, the only complication I had was very, very, long labor time! But no harm done to me or my girls.
    I will surely remember your site and share it to those who need to know ways to have a healthy pregnancy.
    Did you have gestational diabetes or complications during pregnancy? Just curious… I know very little about diabetes and never thought how it could effect someone and their baby during pregnancy.
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    Best of health,

    1. Hi Devara, Thanks for sharing your experience. I did have gestational diabetes and because I was at risk early I was tested at 11 weeks. Usually it’s not until about 25 weeks but I had to deal with this my whole pregnancy. I also had placenta previa, where the placenta lies low in the uterus covering the opening of there cervix. Luckily by about 32 weeks it finally moved into the correct position. I still had to have a c section through because I was high risk to begin with and had a history of miscarriage so I was doomed from the start. I’m just happy that my son was born a healthy 6 pounder. I will love to share more about my pregnancy and will be writing a post more about it for expecting moms. Please feel free to come back and check it out. Thanks for reading my post.

  7. Great article. I have heard of this but didn’t really understand it before. This provided all the information I needed to really understand the issue and how to manage it. Thank you.

    1. Hi Trish. I’m glad I was able to explain it well. I think this is good information for expecting moms and women who want to get pregnant. It helps you to understand that you need to be healthy before you get pregnant and then you can probably avoid it. Unfortunately I did not know that and so I have to manage it but now I know for next time. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. I had a relative who had gestational diabetes and fortunately everything turned out ok for her and her daughter. I didn’t really know much about it back then but your article is excellent in helping my understanding of it now and how it can be managed. Thank you for the great info.

    1. Hi Elaine, that’s so great that everything turned out well, I am happy for them both. And yes, gestational diabetes is a lot to handle but it is manageable and that is key. It’s all about be sensible with your health and then the health of your baby will be great. Thanks for sharing.

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