Gestational diabetes can be a really scary experience. The thought of any harm coming to your little one, especially before they are even born, is abhorrent and terrifying to any parent.
Gestational diabetes, however, does not have to be as scary as this. You can arm yourself with knowledge and fight fear with careful planning.
Arm Yourself with Knowledge
Knowing the facts is the first step to arming yourself against gestational diabetes.
What is gestational diabetes? — Gestational diabetes is a condition where pregnant women experience higher than normal blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Just like with non-gestational diabetes, there are different levels of severity. Some can be maintained with a carefully controlled diet, and some may require medication.
Did I do something wrong? — It is highly unlikely that gestational diabetes would be caused by anything that the mother did or did not do during pregnancy. Although being very overweight before pregnancy can increase your chances of having gestational diabetes, the mother is not at fault for the occurrence of the condition.
Gestational diabetes occurs because the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin for both mother and child, therefore resulting in high blood sugar levels. This is all due to elevated hormone levels that are present in every pregnancy. So absolutely do not blame yourself.
What can I do about it? — Following your doctor’s orders when it comes to maintaining your blood sugar levels is mandatory. This may mean taking medications or even insulin shots. As scary as that may sound to you, once you start it will not be so bad, and you will get used to a new routine for medications.
Carefully monitoring the foods you eat is also extremely important. Your doctor will give you a list of foods to avoid, as well as ideas as to what foods will be best for you and baby.
Fight Fear with Careful Planning
Meal planning is one of your strongest tools to maintaining a healthy diet for gestational diabetes and keeping your blood sugar levels controlled.
Planning out each meal and snack will not only help to ensure you and baby are getting the energy and nutrients you so desperately need, but will also help keep you on track. You can avoid the opportunity to eat things you shouldn’t if you always have a safe option on standby.
- First, understand the basics for what you need in your diet.
- Each meal should have some protein, fiber to keep you full, and plenty of vitamins to help your baby grow big and healthy.
- Write out a specified list of what you will eat for each day.
- Plan out every meal and three snacks per day.
- When you go to the grocery store, stick to the items on your list and avoid impulse buys like processed snacks and cookies. (try eating before you go shopping)
- If you don’t have them in your house, you are less likely to indulge!
Most importantly, remember that you are not just doing this for yourself. There is a tiny human growing inside of you, and they eat whatever you eat. Gestational diabetes can be scary. But you have the tools to arm yourself, fight the fear, and have a happy, healthy pregnancy.
Check out the rest of my blog for other gestational diabetes posts!