Gestational Diabetes - Huntingtown, MD

Updated on August 05, 2009
J.D. asks from Huntingtown, MD
11 answers

I am 30 weeks pregnant and just found out my 3 hour glucose test came back high. I am nervous, scared... I am waiting for my doctor to call me with details, but hoping other moms can provide some personal insight?

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for your comments. It really helps to know that this is something I can control. I am supposed to contact a specialist today to schedule and appointment for diet and glucose monitoring. Apparently, I had 2 elevated levels during the 3 hour glucose test that were high 20+. Thank you for the support! I will keep you posted.

So far the testing is going well. I still don't have a complete grasp on the diet, but from discussing my diet with the dietitian, she says that my diet just needs to combine protein and carbs. I often eat fruit alone and apparently thats a no-no. Thanks again for your comments and advice! It is so reassuring and means so much to have so many supportive Mothers out there!

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answers from Washington DC on

My Aunt had Gestational Diabetes with both of her kids. They are both now in college and have been healthy all along. After both pregnancies, her levels went back to normal almost immediately.
Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

J. - This will be a long post b/c I'll try to be as comprehensive as possible w/o freaking you out!

I had it with my second pregnancy, and trust me when I say I was shocked! I failed the hour test and then failed the 3-hour test, too.

Because I was 40 at the time, I was monitored closely by my OB and a specialist. Fortunately, I controlled it with diet, and my numbers were way under. I had to prick myself 4x/day - right upon waking, after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. If you need a glucose monitor, it will take about a day to get used to the pricks. Some prefer using the same finger; others like to switch it up. I switched it up, and if you do it correctly, you usually don't bruise. I also had to fax off weekly reports to the specialist and mark any anomalies (spikes in sugar levels) and list foods that may have triggered the spikes.

A specialist will give you a diet. Basically, you have to limit carbs, and in the States, almost anything is a carb! For breakfast, I ate eggs and cheese. And I snacked btw. meals. Nuts were great. I also snacked on fruit but in moderation b/c they're high in sugars. For lunch I usually had a HUGE salad with eggs, nuts, cheeses, etc. Vegetables that aren't starchy (like potatoes, for example) are limitless in the amount you can consume. So go for the green leafy kinds, as they'll also help you avoid being constipated! For dinner, I ate lightly - chicken, fish, red meats and vegetables. I avoided rice and potatoes at all costs. You can eat as much protein as you like. So the Adkins Diet (and anything of that nature) is a good model.

On days I was especially hungry, I ate a sandwich for my mid-morning snack. Just purchase low-carb bread.

And try to exercise - walking, for example. It helps the body break down the sugars so that they don't overwhelm the system. My specialist also told me to lift light weights (arms only). Lean muscle mass is the best way to keep diabetes away.

Once you deliver, they'll monitor your glucose level early on. In most cases, if diabetes doesn't run in your family, you'll be fine b/c the problem stems from a placenta that can't process the sugars. So once that sucker is out, you'll probably be fine. They did not limit my foods in the hospital.

If the condition is not monitored or isn't under control, babies end up being very large. I was induced 2 weeks early, and my son was only 5 lbs. 8 oz.

Once I was given the OK, I started up my exercise routine again. Prior to my first child, I was an exercise nut - aerobics and weights, but I slowed down after she was born. The specialist said that she's seen the body "rebel" in cases like mine - that if I slowed down my pace, it wouldn't function as efficiently during pregnancy. So make sure to carve time out for yourself after your 6-week check up.

Good luck! You won't have to suffer for that much longer. It's temporary! Feel free to email me if you have more questions along the way. But your specialist or OB should be your best guide.

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answers from Washington DC on

First don't freak out from anything your read here. Everyone will have horror stories. Many women manage this quite well, and I believe most babies are fine. Also, is it possible you are borderline or do you know you definately have it? If you are borderline, they might just monitor you really carefully and have you watch your diet.

I know several women who went through this. One managed with diet, and one had to give injections (but she did not try real hard to follow the diet). So I would advise you to work hard on your diet and exercise so you can avoid the shots. I know some women can't, but it is certainly optimal. I know that they watch these babies for size to make sure they don't get to big. And sometimes they deliver early, due to size and the babies go to the NICU to be observed. I think most of the time Moms and babies are both fine afer delivery with no diabetes.

Idon't know a lot, but had high readings myself (never actually GD), so I did a lot of research.

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answers from Washington DC on


You'll be just fine. I also had gestational diabetes at age 40. I failed both test - on the border both times. Just watch what you eat - more vegetables and lean proteins, and lots of water. My son was born 2 days early and he weighed in at 7lbs 14 ounces. Upon delivery they checked both of our blood levels and we were fine. As soon as the baby and placenta are delivered it's as if you never had gestational diabetes.

Just take care of yourself and your little one through healthy eating and nonstrenuos/light exercise (walking, stretching) and you'll be just fine.



answers from Washington DC on

It will be okay. I had it with my second and she arrived two weeks early, just a little bit over seven pounds. I had to eat very healthy foods and cut out sugar, which was a bummer, but I did it. I'm actually proud of what I did for my baby and for myself at that time. My husband helped by preparing strawberries at night as a snack for me. They were naturally sweet. I had to test my blood, but I only had to do that for the remainder of the pregnancy. Again, I just thought of it as showing how strong I am and that I can do anything needed for my children. (Both of my children arrived early and were the same weight, even though I had GD with the second.) I think it's something they watch, but everything will be fine. Best wishes to you during this exciting time.



answers from Norfolk on

Hi J.,

I was borderline with my last baby and it was no big deal. I found I had to actually eat more than I was eating and make sure to include protein with every snack and meal. Plus making sure I got some walking in helped too. Try not to worry, its going to be OK. You are in control with your food intake and exercise.

Take care, S.



answers from Washington DC on

See Peter D'Adamo's book on Pregnancy and Blood Type Genetics. His research offers lots of help with small dietary adjustments. Foods incompatible with the genetics of your blood type are many times the culprits behind nagging conditions. Try solving health troubles with nutritional changes before pharmaceutical solutions that inevitably burden the immune system and lose efficacy over time.



answers from Washington DC on

Perfectly understandable that you are scared and nervous! I found out in the time between Christmas and New Years that I had ges. diabetes, and it was very difficult to comprehend - especially since I did not fit any of the risk factors (28 yrs old, healthy weight, healthy diet, exercise, no fam his, etc.) I was able to manage it entirely by a change in my diet and I did have to do the finger prick test four times a day. My sample typical meal schedule was breakfast: 2 eggs with spinach and feta cheese, bacon and one piece of whole wheat toast w/butter. Snack 2 hours later: medium decaf latte w/whole milk Lunch: meat/fish, green beans, small carb portion (1 piece whole wheat bread). Snack: ants on a log or apple with peanut butter Dinner: same as lunch Snack before bed: (here's where I may have "splurged" on occasion) small amount of vanilla (all natural) ice cream or biscotti or applesauce. I have a good biscotti recipe that is low in sugar and uses protein powder to slow the absorption of the carbs - glad to share if you are interested.

The key message in the diet is to eat small-moderate amounts frequently, every 2-3 hours except while sleeping ( :) of course!), and to eat lots of protein (you're making a litte person in there after all!) and balance your carb intake with protein - because that helps you get the carbs/energy you need while absorbing it more slowly to avoid sugar hikes. The other VERY IMPORTANT element to manage ges. diabetes is to keep stress at a minimum! Feeling stress raises your levels of stress hormones which interfere with your ability to process sugar (raising your sugar levels). As if you needed an excuse to relax and be pampered, I'm sure! ;)

This is something you can work through! Many, if not most women, can regulate this with diet, and it does require a commitment and lots of support (my husband was AWESOME! I worked full time and had to catch the commuter train (bmore to DC) each morning and he would cook my breakfast every day! HUGE HELP! I quip that he was pregnant too, he was so dedicated to helping me and the baby stay healthy!) While my husband was a pillar of support, we kept our local extended family in teh dark (so no support there) because they would have overreacted and caused me serious unnecessary stress (see note above). My boss, coworkers and extended family living in other states did know and they were supportive even if they didn't really understand it.

All in all, after the first couple of weeks of being scared, worried and feeling guilty (the feeling of what did I do wrong to cause this? the answer, btw, is nothing!) we fell into a pattern and I was able to manage my ges. diabetes well. I felt like a detective and a scientist at the same time! I only gained about 22 pds total, and actually lost a little weight after changing my diet - this is perfectly normal, not a cause for concern! In fact, when I was diagnosed I was 148 pds, slowly dropped to about 145 and then weighed about 150/151 at birth. My son was born on time, healthy, weighing 8.5 pounds, and at the free-standing birth center with my midwife. My son's blood sugars were checked after birth, and they were fine. Point in sharing details on his birth is, ges.diabetes is not a medical emergency and it is not a high risk factor in and of itself, unless you end up requiring insulin (most people don't).

Also, I had a great, well trained birth assistant who taught me a lot about diet and understanding ges. diabetes. I saw a nutritionist at Kaiser, who was less than helpful, but my Kaiser doctor provided me with some GREAT tables and charts that helped me keep track of my blood sugars and my meals. I would be glad to share them with you if you don't receive similar guidance from your own doctor. Believe it or not, this is a condition that is many docs/nurses still don't know about/understand. To illustrate, I had a nurse who confused ges. diabetes entirely with regular diabetes, and I had to explain what ges. diab. was and how it was different - and she was the nurse!!! I continued the entirety of my care to my midwife, who also understood the quirks and requirements of this condition.

Anywho, I wish you luck, it will take some extra perserverance and dedication but you can do this. I actually have come to swear by the ges. diabetes diet as a great diet, if not ideal diet, for every pregnant women!

I'm sorry this post is so long, but I hope that my rollar coaster story helps you! And I am glad to share any of my materials, recipes or answer questions or just listen if you need it. I KNOW it can be hard to find good information out there and other women's experiences with ges. diabetes, too!

take care, and best of luck!



answers from Washington DC on


Relax. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant. I failed both the one hour and the three hour test. I did control it with the help of diet and medication. I lost weight during my pregnancy. I ate a lot of veggies, chicken, some eggs, fruit as a snack in the afternoon, and I drank a lot of water. Sometimes I flavored the water because I was sick of plain water. As soon as my daughter was born. The diabetes went away. I have been fine ever since. My daughter was born three weeks early and weighed 8 lbs 4 oz. I am glad she came early. You will be fine. Good Luck!


answers from Dover on

When I was pregnant w/ my son, I had a high 1st test but was fine. Later, w/ my daughter, I had a high 1st test and the retest indicated Gestational Diabetes. My point is the first test doesn't indicate either way so relax...stress affects the results too!

I did have gestational diabetes the second time and was able to regulate w/ diet at first. As your hormone levels progress later in pregnancy that does get harder to do. My daughter was born, on time...happy, healthy (not over or under weight), and does not have diabetes.

Take care of yourself and, if you do have GD, try your best to keep you sugar in check (it is normal to have some fluctuations but don't let it get out of whack).



answers from Washington DC on

I had gestational diabetes with both pregnancies ... and both experiences were very different (my fault!) but yet both children came out healthy (now 8 yrs and 11 yrs old). Just some advice ... make sure your Dr gives you the diet plan specific for gestational diabetes and follow it! Also, track your blood sugar level at home and with your doctor. During my first pregancy, I was with an HMO that was very into preventive medicine and they put me on that diet, plus sent me home with a blood test kit with strict instructions. I followed it to the letter and my son came out a healthy 7 pounder and I was back to pre-pregnancy weight in no time. On the other hand, during my second pregnancy, I had changed health insurance (and therefore had to change doctors, by default) ... these Drs weren't as into preventive medicine, and never put me on that diet nor prick tests. I knew better based on my previous experience, but got lazy since no one was 'checking' on me like before, and so I ate as I wanted. The result ... my daughter came out 9 lbs 6 oz ... too big to drop into the birth canal. I had to have emergency c-section. In the end, she was fine, and so was I. But it all could've been avoided if I had followed what I originally knew (and if the Drs had pushed/supported me!). Now at 8 yrs old, she's very petite (like me and my entire family, generations up) ... so I know she was never supposed to get 9 lbs, 6 oz ... that was all extra weight due to the carbs/sugars that I should've limited/controlled during pregnancy. I hope this doesn't scare you more, I just wanted to emphasize the importance of the diet plan and blood-sugar control ... and share how my experience really showed the difference. Best wishes!

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