Gestational Diabetes - Tinley Park, IL

Updated on July 14, 2007
J.B. asks from Tinley Park, IL
13 answers

I was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes and am looking for any tips and info on how to deal with it, diet, and any other info you can give!

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T.W.

answers from Chicago on

I too am throwing in my GD story. Unfortunately, I had midwives that didn't catch it in time. I gained 60 pounds with my pregnancy and ended up giving birth to an 11 lb baby. My midwives kept telling me to load up on carbs, which I did. I definitely think this contributed to my weight gain and GD. I'm glad that the other moms who posted on here didn't have to go through what I did, and I agree that cutting down on carbs, but still eating a high fiber diet is the way to go. And definitely watch what you eat afterwards. I went on the South Beach diet once I was finished breastfeeding and lost all of the weight gained. It's an excellent diet.

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M.K.

answers from Chicago on

I went to a diabetes class at the hospital where I learned what and how to eat. You learn that you only get a certain number of carbs per meal. 3 meals a day and 3 snacks. Yes you will be hungry and you just might loose weight! That is ok since you totally change what you are eating and how much. I only gained 15lbs. They will have you track how many carbs you eat per meal. And they will want you to do some sort of exercise. I walked 2 times a day for 15-20 minutes. The best time to do this is after you eat, it will help your blood sugar levels. I also had to do the blood test 4 times a day, a morning fast and then 2 hours after every meal.No picnic, but after a while you get used to it. I had to call these numbers in to the high risk OB that monitored the levels. I also had a level 3 ultra sound once to check for the amniotic fluid level. With GD your levels can be low. As the pregnancy progressed I could actually tell when my sugar level was off.
I was able to have cake at my baby showers and go and have a nice dinner with my husband and my friends. I also went on vacation. You just need to watch what you eat. And make a note of the reason why your sugar count was high.
Towards the end I had to go to into the Drs office 2 times a week for non stress tests.

I bought a couple of cook books, ones for diabetes and one for low carb. The low carb was the best in my opinion.
We were allowed to have 45 carbs per meal. and 15 carbs per snack.

I liked to east Ensure Healthy M. snack bars. They come in a couple of different flavors and were great if you are on the run.I ate most everything with out buns, ate a ton of salad I felt like a was going to become a rabbit. The down side is all the wonderful fruit that is in season, that was very hard for me to stay away from. I also ate grilled chicken and pork a lot.
Breakfast was the hardest for me. I loved pancakes and waffles. I ate eggs, toast and milk.

After all this I have a happy beautiful 19 month old boy.
I was induced 10 days early because the Dr didn't want my son to be huge. My labor was normal, 9 hours from start to finish and he was only 7.5 lbs.
In the hospital they will take the babies blood every time he eats. I don't remember if it was before or after.

If you would like some recipes I would be more than happy to share them. I still use most of them.
Hope this helps!
Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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N.C.

answers from Chicago on

Hi J B

I had GD with both my pregnancies. The first one I was insulin dependant and the 2nd I was not. Eat food high in fiber. Whole grains, veggies etc. High protein foods are also very good as long as they aren't super high in fat. Just stay away from sweets for sure and if you are going to have carbs make sure to balance it out with enough fiber and protein. Also drink lot's of water. Also, try and eat smaller amounts more often to keep your sugar levels stable so they don't drop and then spike when you eat.

Do you know how severe it is? Are you just borderline or will you be put on medication? Do you have to test your blood every day?

I had to test my blood 4 times a day with both pregnancies. My second child they put me on Glyboride (spelling??). It's a small pill and you take a certain amount through out the day. It was much better then insulin but the insulin controlled my sugars better and kept the weight of the baby down better as well. Both my sons were born perfectly healthy. My first is almost 4 and my second will turn 1 in about 2 weeks.

If I can be of any more help just send me an email!!

Good luck and take care,

N.

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K.K.

answers from Chicago on

my situation was very similar to mary's. its no walk in the park, but better safe than sorry and givign birth to 12lb baby.
in addition, i had to check my urine maybe every morning? i can't remember exactly, but i did have to take insulin and do the carb counting. and you do have to go to your dr. more frequently to report your numbers and make any necessary adjustments.
the good news is that it goes away right after birth, so you can pig out on all the junk you want!

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J.K.

answers from Chicago on

Dear JB,

I'm the Gestational Diabetes pro -- I've had it 3 times now. In a strange way, I try to consider it a blessing in disguise. People with GD are at a significantly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life so this was a good wake up call for me. Also, it got my parents to open up to me about our family medical history -- it turns out that I have severe diabetes on both sides of my family tree but no one was ever talking about it. So, now I am much more aware of the food that I eat, and especially carbohydrates.

With my first pregnancy, I followed everything the nutritionist told me, wound up on insulin, had a perfectly healthy 9 lb baby at full term, and diabetes went away right after birth. But, I had gained a lot of weight with the pregnancy. After my first child was born, I read a lot, and decided that the diet provided by the nutritionist didn't really seem to work for me, and the combination of the carbs plus the insulin made me gain a lot of weight. I lost the weight (slowly and painfully) and got pregnant again. The nutritionist I'd seen the first time had retired, and the new, younger nutritionist recommended a completely different diet. I managed everything so differently that I didn't need any insulin, much to the chagrin of my endocrinologist. Baby came early, but not because of GD, and was healthy and fine. I just had my 3rd baby 3 months ago, and this time I was in Naperville (first two were at Northwestern in Chicago.) The standards were stricter at Northwestern, I was barely considered to have GD out here, and did not need any insulin.

The biggest thing about GD is that there is no "one size fits all." Some people who are really overweight and seem like obvious type 2 diabetes candidates never even get GD, while other women who don't seem to be carrying a lot of extra weight can have big blood sugar spikes during pregnancy because of all those extra hormones. Unfortunately, in my experience, the advice that the nutritionist gives may work very well for managing GD in one person and not as well in another. For example, my blood sugar responses tend to be very "brittle" -- I can have a big reaction to a small amount of carbs. So, the traditional diet that the nutritionists recommended with 3 meals a day each with 45 g carbs plus 2-3 snacks of 15 g carbs sends me straight to insulin within a week. Other people can follow this diet just fine.

Although it is not the most pleasant activity, I found that testing my blood sugar a lot really helped me understand how food was affecting me. I also found that a diet most like the South Beach diet worked best -- very few "refined" carbs. Fruits and veggies have plenty of natural fiber that offsets their other carbs, but processed foods do not. Once I can remember Suzanne Somers telling someone on a talk show that she eats no "white" foods -- foods made with white sugar, white flour, etc. At the time I thought that was pretty funny, but now I get it. Those foods really have no redeeming nutritional value, and for me, they wreak havoc with my blood sugar. But, you might not experience the same problems, because so much of it is hormonal.

I was told that the GD gets worse until about 36 weeks until the placenta starts to get "old" and then the GD will improve mildly until delivery. Then, for most people, it clears entirely within 48 hours. This was my experience.

There are vitamins and minerals that can help stabilize blood sugar. The Vitamin Shoppe sells Chromium in a "glucose tolerance factor" or "GTF" formula. I think this works better than Chromium picolinate and is safer too. Nature's Ovens makes a really tasty whole wheat bagel that has so much fiber that the net carbs are about 30 grams, which makes for a good breakfast. My kids like those too.

I echo the other poster who said be careful after delivery that you don't go sugar crazy. I tend to binge on everything I've avoided and gain a ton of weight in the first 3 months after the baby is born. Plus, for me, breast feeding made me feel starving all the time. SO, I'd come home from the hospital looking pretty good, and promptly gain 15 lbs. Now I'm trying to get that weight off.

If you ever want to talk, you can email me at [email protected]____.com remember that this isn't your fault, and in the big scheme of things it really isn't a huge deal. Your baby will be fine -- its just more hassle for you! And, now you know that in the future, low carb diets will work better than low-fat or just plain calorie restricted diets if you ever are trying to lose any weight. Good luck!

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

HI...I had that twice. There are a few tricks but the basics are to cut down on carbs. Carbs are in about everything, including milk products. So be concious of milk/dairy which is where I always messed up. Breakfasts were the hardest for me so I stuck to eggs everyday...omlets from Jimmy Deans that also had low fat, scrambled eggs with ham and chesse in it. Another trick is to sprinkle a little cinnamon on your food to help adjust the insulin levels. This helped keep my numbers within range and I didn't have to do shots. So I would cut carbs way down and use some cinnamon at every meal to keep those numbers in check. Good luck!

L.H.

answers from Chicago on

I had GB as well. I think as long as you see a dietitian and they put you on Glybride it isn't too bad to follow. I did fairly well, and I love food just as much as the next person. You just have to go out for walks at least once a day and watch your diet. But watch it, because your blood sugar can also go low very fast. Mine had a few times where all the sudden I just felt like I was going to pass out if I didn't get sugar or carbs into my system. I would recommend that you keep a small snack in your purse.

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J.F.

answers from Chicago on

I had GD with my son and I was referred to a nutritionist and an endocrinologist to help me get it under control. The nutritionist was so helpful and it even helped me after pregnancy, since you will now be at a higher risk of developing diabetes as early as 5 years after pregnancy. I was put on insulin and had a strict diet since mine was caught later in pregnancy.

Its not easy having GD, but talking to someone like a nutritionist or an endocrinologist can really help you through.

Good Luck :)

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N.D.

answers from Chicago on

I would definately see a nutritionist/dietician who can guide you carefully. Your OB doctor can refer you to one. I found my dietician to be extremely helpful when I went through it.

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A.C.

answers from Chicago on

I had gd with my now 2 year old and was on a diabetic diet. Basically low carb. I am going to be tested this week for gd with my second baby. Just remember to look at the Total Carb on packaging of food. Not the sugars alone. Total Carbs really tells you if you should pass or eat a real small amount.During pregnancy high weight gain is not always the factor of getting gd. Our hormones affect the insulin levels in our bodies. I only gained 15 lbs with my first and stopped gaining weight after 32 weeks with my son. He was 7.15 lbs. So it was very important that I followed the diet, cuz I don't think I could of delivered anything bigger than that!! Hope everything goes well with you.

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A.H.

answers from Chicago on

I had Gestational Diabetes with both my pregnancies and was insulin dependant with the second one. I highly recommend the Better Homes and Gardens Diabetic Cookbook for recipes for dinners and such. :-)

When I was diagnosed they set me up with a dietician who sat down and figured out how many calories/carbs each meal/serving should be. I have to say it felt like I spent tons of time eating and never went hungry - it was more a matter of portion control and changing some of what foods I was eating. Both my children came out perfect weights (6 lbs, 15 oz & 7 lbs 10 oz) despite the angsty doctors warning me about big babies and all that. I figure my diligence in following the diet paid off, and there was room there for the occasional small "fudge" when there was an important event.

I think the key thing I will warn you against is the aftermath - once the baby is born try to resist jumping in and eating everything you "couldn't" have while pregnant. I have little willpower myself and now I'm paying for all those carbs and sweets I ate during the first three months AFTER my daughter was born. As soon as the baby is born they will check your blood-sugar levels and probably declare you back to normal.

Good luck!

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C.J.

answers from Detroit on

I had gestational diabetes too. TO DEAL...I freaked out and balled for about a day. Then I regrouped and focus on what's most important: HOW YOUR BABY IS AFFECTED. If your OB hasn't already, as for a referral to dietician. I followed his recommendations EXACTLY. I bought a food scale, measured everything out into single portion sizes I walked at least a mile each morning and evening...I exercised mid-day too (keeping up with your son should keep you pretty active;-) ). I journalled all my food intake, exercise, insulin, blood sugar levels, etc. I never got completely comfy with the insulin injections, but I survived...Pricking my fingers for my sugars 4 times a day was no fun either. Anyway my somewhat militant behavior was all worth it when the nurses told me that they've "never had a baby of an insulin dependent mother, with more perfect blood sugar levels." Also, FYI there's a chance of induction if you've not already had the baby by your due date (they don't want the baby to sit and get fat in your tummy). I don't know if that helps...just my experience!

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C.S.

answers from Chicago on

I know this seems contradictory, but make sure that you eat enough carbs. When I had it, I was on a 45 (breakfast), 60 (lunch and dinner) and 15 (morning and afternoon snack) and 30(evening snack). The evening dinner and snack are especially important so that your morning numbers aren't high.. that's what they really look for to see if you need insulin. Find what works for you and use variations on it. Did they give you a session with a nutritionist? For me they did and gave me a chart on what carb counts were for things. You are also told NOT to have fruit with your breakfast (too much sugar too fast). And you have to count the carbs in milk too... definitely have to me more measured in everything you do. Also, you have to exercise. Even walking... or a pregnancy class exercise class, even a good hike up some stairs will bring down your sugars... if you need more help, feel free to email!

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