I haven’t used this forum to talk much about my current pregnancy for various reasons, but I wanted to take a moment to jot down some notes about my experiences with gestational diabetes. I wish I’d found a post on a blog somewhere when I was first diagnosed as it scared the crap out of me and I didn’t know where to start.
I didn’t have GD with my first term pregnancy. My GD has nothing to do with weight — I actually weighed less at the start of this pregnancy than I did at the start of Jr.’s. This particular placenta is producing hormones that make it tough for my body to produce enough insulin to compensate. As a result, my body is going nuts trying to make enough if I eat too many carbs, and poof. Baby is on a constant sugar high if I don’t control what I eat.
The good news is, in most cases, diet DOES fix the problem. Granted, I’m very, very borderline for GD. I’ve had absolutely ZERO problem getting my blood glucose numbers to come back as they should be if I just pay attention to what I’m eating.
This is where I had trouble before taking a class, however. I couldn’t find enough info in a form that was helpful to me to make an informed change of diet immediately. So here it is, a list of what I’m allowed to eat (and generally what guidelines most people are given) and a short meal plan for a single day.
Breakfast: 30g-45g of carbs total
I usually have a piece of whole wheat toast with PB on it and a smallish serving of fruit. I’ve noticed that if I err on the 45g edge of the range, my blood glucose readings are usually on the high end later. This is the only meal that tends to give me this reaction.
Snack 1: 15g carbs
A piece of string cheese and a 100 calorie pack of crackers. I was glad to find that the prepackaged 100 calorie packs often have at or about 15g of carbs in each pack. I hate the extra waste, but it’s a very, very easy way to take my snack with me and not be guessing about serving size.
Lunch: 45g carbs
A sandwich and a small piece of fruit. The more protein on the sandwich the better!
Snack 2: 15g carbs
I’m boring, so I eat the same thing as snack 1. Sometimes I’ll have a pudding cup instead, but it’s not usually substantial enough to keep me from being hungry before dinner.
Dinner: 45g-60g carbs
Salmon (grilled), asparagus, fluffy dinner roll. Or chicken wrap with whole wheat tortilla, salad. I’ve been able to push the carb limit here and not have adverse reactions, but I know others who have had terrible problems.
Snack 3: 15g-30g carbs
Pudding cup and crackers and cheese. Definitely needs something protein oriented. This snack is super important — if I don’t eat enough carbs here, my morning readings go wonky as my blood glucose crashes in the middle of the night and the pancreas shoots out extra glucose to compensate, which triggers the weird placenta response. I’ve noticed I can tell if I don’t have enough snack at about 2am — the baby gets a sugar rush from the excess glucose my pancreas decided to make and wakes me up with a dance party.
The hardest part of GD in my experience is making sure I eat enough protein so that I’m still gaining as I should be. My first few weeks after being diagnosed, my weight plateaued and at one point I actually lost weight, not something I’d recommend for a pregnant woman. Couple that with the holidays approaching, and I’ve been pretty miserable, food-wise.
Only a month or so to go, and he is here, and the GD should simply disappear once the placenta is out. I can’t wait to drink orange juice again. Nothing like some wasted delicious carbs.