Gestational Diabetes

Okay, so this won’t be your typical “photography” blog but, since I’ve never had a typical blog, I thought you wouldn’t mind.

I didn’t have any issues with my first pregnancy and so far this one has been really easy. Two weeks ago I failed me glucose test and then last Friday failed my second test…bummer, eh? I haven’t been able to talk to my doctor or anyone who can give me clear direction for my next steps and I don’t want to go on the internet to read about everything that could go wrong so, I’m relying on close friends to surf for me and one even printed out a list of things I can eat! I should know more about the contents/nutrients of food but I don’t. It’s weird to be thinking before every bite now…I don’t like it.

I want to know everything, have it memorized, have lists as reminders and move forward in the pregnancy. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll have more clarity.

My biggest concern is the baby’s health. In the past I’ve put weird stuff on my blog and received tons of helpful information so I thought I’d lay it out there one more time! I’ll be 28 weeks on Thursday so I still have 12 weeks to go. Do you have any advice me?

I know everything is going to be fine but, as a woman I need to talk it through.

www.noemiphotography.com

Meagan - February 4, 2008 - 11:07 pm

sad that you failed your test twice but hopefully you’ll be able to keep it all in check…..

i will be 24 weeks this week and haven’t had to take that test yet (which i’m kind of dreading…) but I do have to ask….is that stuff you have to drink really as bad as they say it is???

Beth from Iowa - February 5, 2008 - 5:15 am

One of my friend’s had gestational diabetes with her first pregnancy. She felt that it was most helpful to meet with a diabete’s specialist at the hospital. Together they established a meal plan that helped her make it through her pregnancy with a healthy baby and after the pregnancy she was “diabetes free”. She did end up needing to give herself insulin shots for part of her pregnancy, but with lots of diet adjustments, she eventually could control her levels via food intake. On a side note, with her 2nd pregnancy she was “diabetes free” for the entire pregnancy!!

A good diabete’s specialist provides support, helpful informational resources, and can cater specific interventions when needed to your specific case. My friend was in contact with her daily at first and then whenever she needed after her levels were under control. Hopefully your doctor or hospital can provide you the same contact resources that my friend cherished.

mel - February 5, 2008 - 7:00 am

Hi, Noemi… pregnancy can be stressful when stuff goes wrong, eh? So smart of you to have other people sift through the internet information for you!

I just want to offer you reassurance that my mom was a gestational diabetic for two of her pregnancies; she had to make some adjustments in eating, for sure, but she had two perfectly healthy babies.

Colleen Welch - February 5, 2008 - 9:05 am

Hi Noemi,
I will put the word out among my fellow nutrition students… more to come : )

Sarah - February 5, 2008 - 1:24 pm

I had gestational diabetes with my last 2 pregnancies (not with my first) – once you have it, it’s very probable that you’ll have it in consecutive pregnancies too.
Basically, my diet was the same as if you do a low-carb diet, although you don’t want to limit carbs too much because your baby needs those. I met with a nutritionist that my doctor signed me up for and went to a class too on how to manage the diabetes. It was pretty simple and straight-forward stuff, but it took a month or so before I felt comfortable with it all. The biggest thing is that you want to maintain a balance in blood sugar, so you can’t just say, okay, no sugar for me! It’s all about moderation and eating at the appropriate times. And for me, I actually had to eat a lot of carbs before bed so that my blood sugar wouldn’t drop too low before morning. I ended up not being able to control my sugars just with diet – I tried so hard! – and had to go on insulin, which really isn’t as scary as it first sounded. I had to give myself a shot before every meal and before bedtime and in the morning. Yuck! But I was assured that the insulin itself couldn’t hurt the baby and the important thing is the stable blood sugar. My babies were born fine – the doctor had to monitor their blood sugar more closely than normal babies after birth because of it, but they both ended up fine. Also, my diabetes disappeared almost as soon as I gave birth. The first time I had it, the nurses were coming in every few hours to check my blood sugar and I was very disappointed and freaked out when the readings weren’t normal right away, but now I know that the nurses are NOT diabetes experts and they don’t necessarily know all the factors contributing to a high reading – namely exhaustion and stress – both of which is present after giving birth. Also, they didn’t necessarily take the reading 2 hours after I’d eaten, so it was understandable that the readings were so high, but after about 4 days, they were all back in normal range again. What a blessing!
I hope this gives you some encouragement – it’s a pain, but if you take care of yourself, your baby will be fine. Nothing to worry too much about. I’ll keep you in my prayers as you adjust!
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me!

April - February 5, 2008 - 9:29 pm

I had gestational diabetes with all three of my pregnancies. I agree, it isn’t as bad as it seems. All three of my babies are all wonderfully healthy. I too used insulin at least 3 times a day and it wasn’t too bad. Testing my blood 5-7 times a day was inconvient too, but once again, not the end of the world. Indeed keeping the blood sugars is the main goal. I think the funny thing is that still to this day (years later) my mind still thinks about how many carbs I am taking in and do my best to usually still keep things relatively level. I have been told that the likelyhood of my getting type 2 diabetes as I get older are greater, so by me keeping tabs on it now, I am hoping that it will help.

It is true that you need to meet with your specialists and they will put you on a diabetic plan. We are all a little different. BUT, I will tell you that they will tell you to no longer eat one bit of sugar until the baby is born. Which includes all the things women crave while they are pregnant! No chocolate, ice cream, pie, stuff like that. No honey either I think. Pretty much any real sugary sweetners will have to go. It is hard at first, but thankfully there are some decent alternatives and fruit does help, but I found not being able to have one hint of sweet, yummy desserts was hard. You can do it and if you start really craving sweets, let us know and maybe we can share some suggestions. The other thing that sticks out was that in the morning I wasn’t able to have any fruit until the morning snack time. Apparently it makes our blood sugars rise more.

Be preparing to have breakfast, a mid morning snack, lunch, an afternoon snack, supper and then a bedtime snack too. You can’t miss a meal ever when you are caring for your gest. diabetes. Not that pregnant women do (LOL), but it is a fact and you can’t miss them now. I think one of the things I learned too was that even though it was a low carb diet, it was still a lot more generous about the carbs than that kind of diet. It isn’t as bad as it sounds, I promise! You will be looking forward to your baby coming just so things can get back to normal though that is for sure! Oh yeah, you will not be gaining much more weight. With alll three of my pregnancies, I lost weight when I first had to change my diet. You most likely will too!

Sorry you have it, but after having it three times, I really have learned to be more casual about it. I will be praying for you that the time will pass quickly, that you will be able to make the healthy decisions easily and that with the Lord’s peace covering you you will hardly notice it as a hinderance :)!

Paige - February 8, 2008 - 8:33 am

Hi Neomi,

I spent 13 years working in a hospital laboratory where each morning we would conduct one and three-hour gestational diabetes tests for pregnant moms. I was amazed at how many of them hadn’t been fasting and thus, flunked their tests. I also had a friend who wasn’t told by her Dr’s office to fast and even when she called to specifically ask them, they still told her she could eat. So, I need to ask, were you fasting for both of your tests? If you were, then I’m sure the results are accurate, but, if you weren’t, it would be worth re-doing the test while fasting.

I can understand your worry. Even though gestational diabetes is manageable, it’s still scary when it happens to YOU! My daughter was a preemie and although it’s very common for preemies to be jaundice, when it happened I was petrified!

Good luck and take care!

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