Food & Nutrition

Scared about gestational diabetes, advice?

   So I have my blood glucose test in a couple of weeks and I'm freaking out about it. I'm scared to death of becoming high risk and, though I refuse to have the midwife tell me my weight, I know, from her, that I have had 2 significant weight jumps in the past two months. I had asked other friends of mine when they gained most of their weight and most said in their second trimester, which is where I'm at, 22 weeks, so I'm not sure how bad the weight jumps really are. However, I know I need to watch what I'm eating better and be more active. This baby is a cookie monster mixed with a Florida farm girl. She love love loves cookies and oranges. Those have been my biggest cravings and I used to never eat cookies. Prior to getting pregnant I was a little overweight but have actually been very health conscious. I've been gluten free for 7 years due to health issues and I ate very well balanced clean meals mostly following Tosca Reno's diets. However, this pregnancy has brought out the worst in me diet wise. I eat one cookie at the least three at the most "almost" every single day. Since my last visit, I have definitely been more conscious of my intake, but pregnancy cravings are no joke. It isn't a want anymore it's an "I have to have that right now!" kind of a craving... Also, I've been under an insane amount of stress this entire pregnancy, due to circumstances completely out of my control and because of this my energy level has been pretty low leading to a lack of exercise and some pretty bad depressing days that just put me in such a lull. I have been doing prenatal yoga once a week and I do try to walk a couple nights but it's not been ideal. My goal is to take one or two zumba classes a week like I used to, get back into my Latin dance classes once or twice a week, keep up with the yoga and find other ways to be active.

All of this in mind, I'm still freaking out about the glucose test. Anyone know specific foods/herbs that can help regulate or lower blood sugar levels? I started to incorporate a veggie smoothie every morning in an effort to add more veggies. I used to eat lots of veggies but this pregnancy has made me hate them. Now I eat a lot more fruits. Mostly oranges, apples and the occasional mango/papaya. Any advice is greatly appreciated to put my mind at ease a bit, make me feel like I'm not the only one going through this, sharing any of your personal stories or experiences, or offering up any specific food/herbs/diet advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and respond.

Re: Scared about gestational diabetes, advice?

  • I was diagnosed with GD during my first pregnancy and I am extremely healthy and fit. I am a runner and do pilates and barre.  I was not overweight before, during or after my pregnancy. My doctor couldn't explain why or how I developed it but it goes to show that anyone can develop GD.  At the time, it all seemed very scary and confusing to me - but now that I've been through it, as far as pregnancy complications go, it's not the worst thing in the world. 

    As for diet advice, once I was diagnosed, I was to follow a special diet.  This diet did NOT include a lot of fruits. Even though fruits are healthy, they contain a lot of sugars.  You may want to cut back on the amount of fruit you eat, try not to eat it first thing in the morning, and try to eat fruits like berries as opposed to fruits that lack more of the antioxidants and vitamins (bananas, for example, were on my DO NOT EAT list).  Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries are good choices in moderation.  I would try to stop the 3 cookie a day thing - you will find once you stop eating sweets, you don't crave them as much.

    Cinnamon is a natural spice that may help with blood sugar levels.  Mainly, you should try to eat meals/snacks that incorporate a mix of lean protein, low carbs, low sugar and healthy fats.

    I found that my blood sugar spiked after breakfast and after dinner when I was pregnant and had GD. I would go for a run after a light breakfast and I would walk after dinner.  Staying active is very important.  Walking or light cardio is a great way to bring your levels down when they have spiked.

    I hope that helps. I am not an expert by any means, but I did have gestational diabetes and these are some things that helped me.
  • I too was very healthy, ate well, have an active job and did frequent walking. I developed GD and thought I did something wrong; however, that wasn't the case. I had to see a nutritionist and check my levels at least four times a day, sometimes more. I am expecting again and afraid I will get it again. My first baby was very large, even with carefully watching what I ate after the diagnosis of GD. Good luck!

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  • I had GD and knew before I was diagnosed. Every time I ate anything with starch or sugar, I would feel like I had a fever and I would get really thirsty. I was able to diet control it for the rest of the pregnancy by eating low carb. Weight isn't always the culprit; type two diabetes is caused by a blockage (usually belly fat build up) or in pregnancy, a baby. You still produce insulin, but are not assimilating it. With that being said, being in denial about weight gain isn't exactly healthy either. Eat more protein based foods, and eat small portions of things like brown rice, but go for a walk afterward. Avoid sweets, and the delicious white potato has nutritional value but is very high on the glycemic index.
    [Deleted User]
  • This is my second time with GD. It doesnt necessarily have to do with your weight, its how your body is breaking down insulin. I have been able to control it with my diet. My doctor told me to eat 30-45 grams of carbs for meals and 15 -20 grams of carbs after snacks. Eat every 2 -3 hours. You may be eating healthy but its all about the sugar so even fruit has to be monitored. I was surprised at how many carbs certain foods have. Its not the end of the world if you do have it, but its important to take care of it.
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