So, 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 baby’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.
- 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
I 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.
This 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
- COMPLETE STARTER KIT: Contour NEXT Diabetes EZ meter, 150 test strips, 150 twist off sterile lancets (30g), lancing Device, Control Solution, Batteries for meter, manual, log book & carry case.
- ACCURATE RESULTS: #1 SUPER accurate meter, 5-second test results, second chance sampling with minimal blood. Contour NEXT will not work with the Contour (regular) Meter.
- QUALITY: LONG LASTING & FRESH EXPIRATION DATES.
- EASY TO USE: Preferred diabetic starter kit, no coding, alarm reminders, saved pre & post-meal glucose level tests of 7, 14, & 30 day averages.
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEE: We provide 100% customer satisfaction to each Owell TM product.
What Kinds Of Foods Can You Eat
If 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
Once 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
Once 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.
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.