Disclosure: I was compensated for my time. All thoughts below are my own opinion.
When I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, my happy eat-all-the-things mentality blew up in my face. The placenta was producing insulin-blocking hormones, which then caused my blood sugar to rise. It also blocked any insulin from going to the fetus, which could possibly force the baby to produce high amounts of insulin, increasing the likelihood of Type I Diabetes in her future. What a party crasher, this placenta.
If you’ve read my past posts, you’ll know I had to prick my finger four times a day and recorded everything I ate in a journal. That meant no chocolate, no ice cream, very little bread, … I felt like I was on the Atkins diet.
The main reason why I was able to manage my gestational diabetes was the baby. There was no way I was going to put her in danger of getting Type I diabetes because of me. In addition, here are my other top 5 tips on…
Managing Gestational Diabetes
1. You’ll probably be enrolled in some sort of gestational diabetes management program. Meet with your registered dietician (RD)! Make your RD work for her money. Ask questions. What sort of meal examples can they give you to follow? Yes you can eat carbs. You should eat carbs. But how much and what kind? Ask your RD!
I asked if I could have cake because hello, baby shower! I was OK’d for a couple bites of chocolate cake, as long as I had my proteins first. (Check with your RD if you can do this.)
2. Exercise. No, really. It helps control your blood sugar.
Hate to exercise? You have two legs. Walk. I was instructed to walk 15 minutes after every meal. Bwahaha! That never happened. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Instead, I worked out regularly. I took a 3-mile walk every other day around the Rose Bowl, I went spinning, I lifted weights (until my 30th week), I did yoga. I think the three-mile walks were the best thing for me. It gave me an hour+ of time to myself to just “meditate” and think about nothing.
On the flip side, get rest. Sleep when you can. You ain’t gettin’ any when the baby comes. Your body needs to be able to reset and recharge. Gestational diabetes is still diabetes. It still takes a toll on your body.
3. Don’t eat crap. This should be a given since you’re pregnant. But sometimes you just want that fast food burger. (If you didn’t have gestational diabetes, I’d give you two thumbs up. However, with GD, every bit of food will affect your blood sugar numbers and remember, BABY.
I was quite a fan of lettuce-wrapped cheeseburgers and grilled chicken salads and a lot of salmon. Watch the salad dressings. There’s sugar in those and that’ll screw you over. (Not in a good way.) Brownies? Cookies? Not until after the baby is born, yo. Even fruit consumption has to be watched.
Snacking with nuts and veggies and fancy cheese helped me not get bored. I mean, I ate a lot of the same things over and over and over again.
Don’t starve yourself. You don’t do anyone favors, least of all, your baby.
4. Keep poking yourself with that glucose monitor. Depending on the severity of your GD, you may need to poke four times a day like I did. You may also need to take insulin.
5. Be diligent. Keep your eyes on the prize, no joke. All I can say is – whatever it takes, y’all. Do whatever it takes to keep you and the baby healthy during your pregnancy.
Meet with your doctor or dietician post-partum. You may still need to keep up a variation of your GD diet. The chances of getting Type II diabetes is higher for you if you’ve been diagnosed with GD. So don’t go crazy after giving birth – be conscious of what your body needs and how body reacts to food.
It’s December, aka open enrollment! It’s time to sign up for health insurance coverage! If you’re looking for coverage, check out Molina Healthcare. You may qualify for one of their plans. They can also help you figure out the whole Affordable Care Act / Covered California coverage, if you’re confused about the program. Trust – even I’m confused!
If you’re pregnant and haven’t chosen an insurance plan, it’s time to get covered. Seriously. Get help with your GD!
Disclosure: I was compensated for my time. All thoughts above are my own.