If you have gestational diabetes, there is no need to worry yourself into a frenzy. Along with following your doctors orders, here are a few tips to help make the new challenge smoother.
Diagnosis is Not as Bad as it Sounds
If you took the one-hour glucose test, then had to take the four-hour test, and finally learned that you needed to be treated for gestational diabetes your first thought may be fear over how to deal with this new complication during your pregnancy. The most important gestational diabetes tip to remember though is that the reason they test you is so you can receive treatment if needed to ensure not only a healthy baby, but also a less complicated labor and delivery. The medical field now understands gestational diabetes better than ever before meaning, you are safe and they have plenty of research to show the best ways to help you stay healthy and continue to grow a normal, healthy baby as well.
Program Participation is Key
Pricking your finger every several hours to check your blood sugar is not what most people would describe as a favorite pastime, but it gives you valuable information to help ensure your health. Injecting yourself with carefully measured doses of insulin is not a cakewalk either, but it too is part of keeping your blood sugars stable so your body can concentrate on the baby on board instead of distracting your body and its mechanisms with horribly unbalanced glucose levels. No matter what the program you are in recommends, it is for a distinct reason. If they say no more than 15 grams of carbs at any snack, or no more than 30 grams of carbs at lunch that does not mean that you can take a day off and be fine, or that you do not need to worry if you are eating out. Take the time to do the math with the nutritional values provided to you and if you are unsure of one particular item like the tortilla chips at the Mexican restaurant that come with dinner, compare them to another product that you can find nutritional information on. This way you may be guesstimating the true values, but you are at least in the right ballpark. Even if it seems like the program you are in wants you to go to extremes, put everything you have into following the program. If you truly have significant issues with what they are asking of you, talk to your obstetrician and see if she can help you navigate the challenges easier.
Let your Intuition Guide You if You are Unsure
If you are in a place where you need to make a judgment call and cannot get in contact with someone from the gestational diabetes program you are a member of, follow your gut. If it is 4 in the morning and you wake up in a cold sweat and cannot think, or keep your limbs still thanks to low blood glucose levels, start with a sugar bolus then when it has taken effect and your blood sugars are back to normal evaluate the situation. The intuition is to solve the immediate problem, then move on to how to avoid it in the future. This is part of why the program you are in may ask tons of information, because the better informed they are when a problem occurs, the better able they are to fix it without too much stress to your body. Trust yourself if it is a true judgment call, as your intuition should not fail you when it comes to those types of choices. Then, the next time you get to check in with the diabetes program or your obstetrician run your choice past them. They may be able to give you a better option for next time, or agree with you that your choice was the correct one.
Minimizing Future Risk
Women who have gestational diabetes are at a 60 percent greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the future. This means you need to be careful in the years after you have your baby to decrease your risk. The most important ways you can cut your risk of diabetes is to meet and/or keep up a healthy body weight, exercise, and keep your blood pressure within normal levels. Your baby runs a higher risk of having diabetes in the future, so the same healthy lifestyle choices that will keep you within an appropriate weight range will be beneficial to your child, too.