What should I do if I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes?
Real Mom Problem
“I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This is going to be a long few months for me. Has anyone else been diagnosed with it, and if so how did you cope? This is going to be tough.”
- 1. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, consult with a nutritionist or diabetes specialist to construct a meal plan that will work for you
- 2. Change your typical diet so that you're eating three small meals and three snacks each day instead of three big meals
- 3. Control your portions, limit your carbohydrates, and load up on vegetables
- 4. Gestational diabetes usually goes away when you deliver the baby, so this is most likely not a permanent condition
Real Mom Solutions
A diagnosis of gestational diabetes might seem devastating, but with proper portion control, many moms don't find it that limiting. Check out how these moms dealt with their diagnosis and what their favorite gestational diabetes meal plans include.
How to Keep Sugar Levels Low
As long as you stick to real foods-- nothing out of a box or package-- you're on the right track. Keeping stress levels low will help too.
I had gestational diabetes my last pregnancy and I just ate the carb limits they told me and everything was fine. Also exercise and lots of water help keep your levels lower. I was upset when I found out I had it with my first pregnancy, but it's just changing your habits and most of the time it goes away when you deliver. Mine was gone within two hours of delivering the placenta.
The main thing is portion control. You can still eat carbs but not huge portions of them. I haven't had many problems keeping my sugar under control using that method. In the end, you will probably gain less weight with your pregnancy since your diet is so restricted, so that can be something to look forward to. Oh, and exercise if you can.
I have been unlucky enough to have it with all three of my kids. The first time I controlled it with diet, the second time I needed insulin. But both times it went away immediately once the placenta was out. This time, if I eat anything high in carbs, especially bad carbs (white pasta etc...), I get super tired and need to nap. I can tell you it isn't hard, but there may be a few things that you can't eat till after your little one is born.
I had gestational diabetes with my daughter and I could only eat about 2-4 ounces of meat a day, one egg, an ounce of cheese and a handful of nuts. You will eat three small meals, and three snacks, so you're eating all day long but small portions so levels are regulated. When I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, they scheduled me to go to a diabetes class for diet and getting blood sugar levels. It will all be okay.
I have gestational diabetes also. I had it with my other son also. I basically just watched how much I ate with starches/carbs and anything that deals with sugar. My sugar has been really good. A diabetic class will help you. I went for my son and I still had my monitor, lancets, and test strips in case I got it again and sure enough I did.
First of all, I promise it is not as bad as it seems. Second, when you go to see the nutritionist, he or she will tell you how many carbs you can take in per meal. I would recommend Fiber One yogurt. It only has 13 grams of carbs for breakfast since sugar is less stable at breakfast. Also, I am not a big meat eater, but, the more protein you take in, the slower the carbs break down. What I did is quarter protein, quarter carbs, half plate of veggies. Veggies are free! Avoid fruits with high sugar content or have them in moderation. Bananas are very high in sugar. No juices of any kind in the morning. I had to test my sugar four times a day. Hang in there.
Check Out These Helpful Meal Plans
I had gestational diabetes with baby #3 and honestly, it was a blessing. It taught me how to eat right, kept me on track (since there was that accountability in place having to let them know your numbers each week) and I felt great after I figured everything out... it does take some adjustment. Mostly you are going to want to go from 3 meals a day, to 6 small ones. You will need to eat a protein at every meal (cheese, meat, tofu, nuts - all great sources of protein) and you will want to stay away from carbs.
Here's what my diet looked like (and I still try to stick to it since I felt so great):
Breakfast: Bacon, eggs
Morning snack: Nuts and a glass of milk
Lunch: Salad with chicken on top, cheese, black olives, and small amount of dressing
Afternoon snack: Low carb yogurt (they make some just for diabetes) and some fruit (small portions as fruit does have carbs in it)
Dinner: A meat, veggie, small piece of bread
Bedtime snack: Graham crackers with cream cheese (reminded me of a cheesecake!), or wheat thins with cheddar cheese on them.
I drank seltzer water with lemon in it and gave up the soda - you also need to make sure you are getting plenty of water and get about 20 minutes worth of exercise in.
Cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, nuts, raw veggies and fresh fruit, couscous, fish, chicken, turkey, Kashi bars, oatmeal, eggs and string cheese were 90% of my diet. NO cereal for breakfast and never more than half a cup. NO rice; it will destroy your blood sugar levels. Make sure your meal revolves around a protein, one green veggie, one fruit, and a glass of water. Milk three times a day (8 ounces) is okay.
Sample menu for a day:
Two eggs, one piece of whole wheat toast with butter and jelly (sweetened with Stevia - Splenda is terrible for you), half a glass of orange juice
Snack: handful of almonds, glass of milk, piece of cheese
Lunch: romaine salad with boiled egg, chopped turkey/chicken, spinach leaves, one teaspoon bacon bits, tomato, cucumber, sunflower seeds
Snack: cup of cottage cheese, six to eight Triscuits
Dinner: baked salmon with garlic and herbs, steamed broccoli, milk, half of a baked potato
Snack: Six ounces cheese, milk, half a cup of dry Cheerios
Control Your Diet for Baby's Sake
I was also diagnosed. I'm at week 31, almost week 32 and it's been 4 weeks for me. It's still hard. I don't care what anyone says. This is the time when women are supposed to be able to eat what they want (to a degree) and not feel guilty about gaining weight, so I was horrified.
Right now I'm on Glyburide but my doctor keeps reminding me to be open to insulin injections because more than likely, that's what's going to happen. I'm hoping and praying not but I haven't been the greatest at following this "diet." So we'll see what happens.
Mainly though, I think about this lil' guy and what gestational diabetes will do for him. You aren't going to die if you don't follow your diet to a "tee" but being terrible about your diet/exercise can have some long term effects on you and baby. Your baby is having to deal with the eating aftermath and is growing bigger than normal when you're eating too much sugar/carbs/etc. So labor will SUCK! And if baby gets really big and fat in the womb, already he or she is set back in life, more at risk of being overweight throughout life.
I know it's hard. I'm a carb fanatic. I love pasta/Italian/pizza and since I became pregnant, SWEETS! So I'm struggling. But I just keep trying to not be selfish and think of my lil' man, as hard as it is. And remember, it's only for your pregnancy (hopefully) and then it'll be gone. So you won't have to do this forever, just until baby comes. In the end, it's all worth it!