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The New Gestational Diabetes Support Thread - Page 3

post #41 of 296
Thread Starter 

Hester - I would contact the midwives directly. The midwives around here immediately risk you out if you have gd - no questions asked. The ones you're looking at may or may not have a similar policy.


PCOS most definitely ups your risk of developing gd. You want to find a good endocrinologist to help you deal with hormone issues post-partum (& may not be a bad idea while pregnant). It can be difficult sometimes to find one who is knowledgeable about pcos.

post #42 of 296

Just chiming in and joining in.  I had GD at the end of my pregnancy with my son 5 years ago, so I knew I would be tested early this time.  What I didn't count on were the revised guidelines, which are totally kicking my rear.  With my first pregnancy, my medical group used <100 for fasting and <140 1 hour pp.  As long as I had only 1 carb serving with breakfast and walked for about 15 minutes after breakfast, my numbers stayed fine the entire rest of the day, almost regardless of what I ate.  So I was pretty cocky going in this time.  Oops.


Apparently being 5 years older and the medical group moving to much stricter guidelines (90 & 130) are making this a lot harder for me to get a handle on.  I'm only 15 weeks and already on bedtime insulin.  I'm really hoping that I don't have to add mealtime insulin by the end of the pregnancy. 


One thing that I'm struggling with is coming up with a variety of breakfast starches.  I'm so tired of toast with eggs or toast with almond butter.  My nutritionist/Diabetes educator wants me to avoid milk/yogurt and fruit at breakfast, which leaves starches.  Unsweetened oatmeal is not pleasant to me.  Maybe I'll make polenta tomorrow.  Anything else?

post #43 of 296
Welcome IntrovertExtrovert!

Re: breakfast ideas, with my last pregnancy I was also told no milk with breakfast, but cheese and other dairy was permitted, so I often had a slice of raisin toast with lots of ricotta cheese, or some cottage cheese on the side. Right now I am not on the diet yet, but I am eating Greek yogurt with wheat germ/flax mixed in for breakfast. Can you play around with what works for your body, or is dairy strictly forbidden? You could try a slice of French toast and some breakfast sausage. Or try a wasa cracker with cold cuts, cheese and tomatoes (I got hooked on this when I spent a summer in Finland). There are some low-carb "pancake" ideas out there, but they all seem to involve ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. Anyone else have ideas?
post #44 of 296

Hi ladies, I'm jumping in here too. Thanks Lifeguard for starting this.


I had GD with my second pregnancy (DD who is 26m now). I had a great homebirth with her, and she was a very healthy 9lb baby at 40w4d born after a labor of less than 3 hours. I gained a total of 17lbs during that pregnancy (I started it overweight). My GD disappeared literally as soon as I delivered the placenta. I ate an entire bagel and drank a big old glass of milk the next day and my numbers were totally normal. That said, I believe I have poor insulin function- maybe not insulin resistance yet, since my numbers tend to be very normal, but I decided to go back on a lower-carb diet when my baby was 8mo, and I effortlessly lost 35 lbs and felt great eating that way. My mother has type II diabetes (and so did her brother and her dad). I was very stressed by the GD diagnosis and the experience of having to log everything I ate and all my blood sugar readings, but in the end I came to see it as a kind of blessing in disguise, to learn what is healthy for my body... and hopefully to protect myself in the long run from developing type II (or at least, to take control over things earlier rather than later!). I really like this website about diabetes, nothing about GD but I find it extremely informative, and very empowering with strategies for taking control of your health... http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/index.php


During that pregnancy, I was supposed to maintain the numbers that IntrovertExtrovert says (under 90 fasting, under 130 at 1hr). I was able to do it with a very strict diet that had no grain, no sugars, very limited fruit, and obviously no sugary sweets. Dairy OTHER than liquid milk was fine. Plain yogurt has fewer carbs than are usually listed on the label (IMO), it might be worth a try for those of you who aren't tolerating milk but craving dairy.


I am now almost 23 weeks. My MWs this time aren't making me do the GTT (I don't want to) and just prescribed me a blood glucose meter. I have been spot checking and things look okay though a few slightly high numbers (mostly in the 120s but not after a very high carb meal... so thats not so great to see... they have been after I think I didn't eat enough all day and then though I ate a normal meal, seems to spike higher than I'd expect. I remember that from my previous pregnancy). My fastings have so far been ranging from 70-86 so that is great. BUT I am am a little worried about the coming weeks, since that is when I developed GD last time around (I passed a 3hr GTT easily at around 20 weeks last time).


I agree there is not a lot of good info on GDM out there. I really struggled to find info when I had it last time. Yes, it is normal for pregnant women to have slightly elevated blood glucose levels. The fetus "likes" the higher blood sugar, in order to pack on all that fat it needs. But as I understand it, true "GD" doesn't develop until around 24 weeks or later, b/c it has to do with the fully mature placenta messing with our own sugar metabolisms. (haha very scientific explanation I know). And it really should be gone as soon as placenta is delivered. Anything else suggests some underlying issues with blood sugar/insulin function.


The most hepful advice I got was from a dietician who did our diabetes education. She said that your blood glucose meter should be your guide as to what you can eat, not a meal plan. She said most women she sees with GD (and most diabetics, that was actually her bigger clientele I guess) cannot eat the number of carbs on the meal plans and stay off medication. As others have said, she emphasized that mornings are worse for most people. I opted to get most of my carbs from veggies, legumes, and fruit, because I could eat so much more of those than grain-based foods and they were so much more satisfying for me given the amounts of grain I could tolerate (like 2 tbl of cooked brown rice in an otherwise low carb meal... whats the point...)


I had to plan in eating more fats and more protein. I've gotten better at that with almost 2 years of moderately low carb eating (if you count my 13 weeks with GD and then the past 18 months of putting myself back on a low grain, low starch/sugar diet). Anyway, just saying, I have gotten used to not having pasta, rice, bread, oatmeal, potatoes, juice, etc. I have a little bit if I want to but I think of it as a treat, not a staple, or a "garnish", if that makes sense.


It is hard to eat out or go to parties. I am already a vegetarian (ovo/lacto) so blah. Sometimes nothing to eat. I would say, you are NOT going to hurt your baby if you have highish blood sugar once a week or something. Its the chronically elevated blood sugar that is bad for everyone (you and baby). So if you have a special event, just take it in stride. Try to eat plenty of fat with the carbs to at least slow the digestion! (and stuff like ice cream is better than cake or cookies... higher fat stuff is often less sugary... and you can always take the bread off of sandwiches etc, eat the dips with veggies instead of chips... or with a spoon... though it can be hard to do that sort of thing in a dignified/polite way!)


OK that is the end of my novel. Well almost.


Hugs to you all. I was really emotional about the GD when I first got my diagnosis. By the end I think I was unhealthily obsessed with it-- in retrospect I think my sense of self-worth was too wrapped up in my blood sugar readings. My goal for this pregnancy is to keep my blood sugar stable without driving myself nuts.


And I found the primal/paleo blogs helpful for recipes and food ideas (I like Girl Gone Primal in particular, LOVE LOVE LOVE her grain free granola, "nola"). Also I got really into coconut flour (weird stuff but very filling and easy to use once you get used to it- there are lots of recipes online for coconut flour stuff), and nuts (homemade almond milk, homemade nut "truffles", nut crusts, etc). And thank goodness for hummos and peanut butter or I might have actually wasted away to nothing....

post #45 of 296

This makes me so livid. People have this attitude about diabetics too. Its so wrong and SO prevalent. This idea that you gave yourself diabetes (and maybe even deserve it).

Originally Posted by KnittingKara View Post

I had a little breakdown yesterday.  Well, more of a temper tantrum, really.  A friend, also pregnant, said something to me along the lines of, "Oh, I don't have to worry about GD because we don't eat much sugar."  I guess the implication is that I have GD because we DO eat a lot of sugar????  Um, no.  We have a pretty good diet and have for a while (not perfect, but pretty good) and I do very carefully watch sugar and dyes and we eat mostly whole foods. 


I don't think she meant to offend me, but she did.  It didn't help that when I started to explain to her about the hormones of pregnancy and how they affect the pancreas, she cut me off and changed the subject.  I stewed about it for a long time and poor DH ended up having to listen to me vent last night redface.gif



post #46 of 296
Thread Starter 

Emma - I agree with you on that - I think that that thinking alone is in HUGE part the stress & shame that goes along with a gd diagnosis. That one along with it being our fault if we are at all overweight. Sigh.


I like the advice about eating to your readings & not to the diet. I wish I had heard that last time. It makes a LOT more sense than trying to eat the meal plan perfectly only to find that your numbers are still too high. For me I have found that my body just does not process starches well at all so keeping my carbs to veggies is the best bet (I don't really do fruit even 'cause it is just too much sugar for my body).

post #47 of 296

I wish I had looked on this subforum a long time ago.  I have GD this time.  I was tested early on because I felt like I needed to be (sugars were giving me headaches) and passed the 3 hour GTT just fine.  Then they had me redo it at 28 weeks and guess who failed?  Of course!  So here I am at 36 weeks.  I had a good handle on my GD (taking glyburide and doing the diet) until the past 3 days.  I'm literally hungry ALL THE TIME.  I can't stop eating.  My fasting readings are fine, but my 2 hour lunch and dinner readings are high because I am consuming way too much food.  I haven't been hungry in weeks and all of a sudden it's like taking over my body.  I know I'm in for an earful on Tuesday at my next OB appointment.  Not good. 


I can't wait for this to be over.  My diabetic counselor wants me to stay on the diet though until I'm done breastfeeding.  I can't do this for another 3 years!  I will go freaking insane!  I'm going to have carb-counting nightmares.  LOL. 


I can't believe how weak I feel about this whole thing all of a sudden.  I've been so strong for so long.  What is my problem?  Somebody kick me, please!

post #48 of 296
Thread Starter 

suburbanhippie - it gets so frustrating & I know as I got further along with ds I found the diet harder & harder instead of easier (you'd think it would just become habit). I personally think your nutritionist is being a little alarmist. She probably also is not thinking you will bf for so long as most moms she counsels probably don't make it past 6mos - 1 year. For MANY of us with gd it disappears immediately or shortly after birth, but there is a concern that we are at a higher risk for developing type II in the years to come so it's important for us to continue to be at least somewhat vigilant & to monitor from time to time.


If you are hungry you should be able to add protein & fats to your meals without it negatively affecting your numbers. If you really feel you need to add more carbs stick to veggies or carbs with a lot of fiber as the fiber slows down digestion.

post #49 of 296

Thanks for the suggestions!  French toast was a great idea.  Lately I've been having oatmeal with cinnamon and butter.  My anecdata agrees with the speculation about cinnamon helping to lower blood sugar--this morning I had 1 carb serving of oatmeal, with cinnamon, butter, and bacon on the side, and my 1 hour blood sugar was lower than when I first woke up!  And I didn't exactly go for a run after eating--my kid and I strolled around the house a few times. 

post #50 of 296

Can I join the group? I am due end of Sept/ first of October with my 3 baby.I have 2 kids I never had GD with them they were 7lb 14oz,and 7lb. After I had my second little one I started having symptoms of PCOS,I got a blood test,and ultrasound,and I had it.I lost over 50lbs with diet. Now that I am pregnant I have developed GD,and I had a blood test the other day that said I was subclinical hypothyroid (YIPPY) =(. So I am taking synthroid. They also want me to take 5 units of slow acting insulin before bed.My fasting # have been good up until around 23 weeks.They are anywhere from 100-130.That is even with having a carb free bedtime snack. My other # after meals range anywhere from 98-174 depending on if I had a potato or something.I find I need to cut out all the carbs to get my levels down.They have me using ketone strips,and they have been negitive.So far this is a crazy pregnancy. I am thinking I might need t o take the insulin at bed.I just hate to use that,and take synthroid. I really don't like taking the pharma cocktails.

post #51 of 296
Thread Starter 

Welcome (unfortunately) gingergrltea.

post #52 of 296

SuburbanHippie, I agree with Lifeguard try adding fat/protein to your meals and snacks. A tablespoon of peanut or almond butter. Cook with more butter/olive oil. Add chopped nuts or a fried egg to your meal... or meat/fish (if you eat it). None of that should increase your blood sugar but will be very filling.

Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View PostI can't wait for this to be over.  My diabetic counselor wants me to stay on the diet though until I'm done breastfeeding.  I can't do this for another 3 years!  I will go freaking insane!  I'm going to have carb-counting nightmares.  LOL. 

I didn't stay on the diet in the crazy-planning way after I had my daughter but I went back on a low-grain, low-starch, low-sugar diet when she was 8m old and I felt GREAT. I also dropped the extra weight I'd been carrying around for 5 years with no other effort. I never approached the GD diet with a ton of obsessive carb counting, because look, we know what has carbs (grains, starchy foods, sweet foods), I just try to limit those to one modest serving, maybe 1-2 meals a day. For me, I definitely seem to get "addicted" to bready stuff, so cutting that out all together for a while was helpful. Anyway, I plan to cut myself a break after this baby is born, and then go back onto what has now become my regular diet (I basically make all bready stuff or potatoes into a "treat" and limit fruit and other carby stuff in a reasonable way). Baby is due late October, so I am thinking, I won't stress about my diet until after Christmas holidays ;)


post #53 of 296

I am having a horrible time with my fasting numbers and despite everything they are not coming down. i tested one night every time i got up to pee and it wasy high. Its like the second my head hit the pillow it went up and stayed up. Can anyone help with idea? they are talking about putting me on insulin!

post #54 of 296

Because of the way that our hormone levels fluctuate at night, fasting blood sugars are the hardest to control.  Aside from the extensive research that I have done since my diagnosis 5 weeks ago, I am an ICU nurse.  Normally, an adult can go without food for almost a day before the body starts the "starvation mode" and starts converting glycogen stores in the liver into glucose so that our blood sugar level stays above a dangerously low level.  With GD we have an accelerated starvation mode and I was told to go no longer than 8 hours without food overnight.  Basically after 6 or 8 hours you body thinks it is starving and converts the glycogen to glucose and your blood sugar goes up.  I have tested myself at 5 am and gotten 86, then again at 8 am (still fasting) and gotten  101.  I have found that the key is to eat a high protein + 1 carb snack right before bed and my fasting #'s improved.  I usually eat 1 cup of cottage cheese with 1 carb worth of fruit.  If I fall asleep and skip the night time snack, my fasting number will be higher.   Another help is to keep your dinner well controlled.  Make sure that the carb intake for dinner is whole grain complex carb and not fruit, milk, or white bread/rice/mashed potato.  Starting out lower before bed will carryover to your fasting number.  I hope this helps!  Keep in mind that if you do need to start on insulin it is much better to do that than to deal with the complications of poor blood sugar control.

post #55 of 296
Thread Starter 

Goddess - definitely work on trying to have more protein in the evening. I also found keeping anything higher or less complex carb (like fruit) was handled by MY body much better at lunchtime although I was told to keep these to the morning (but for ME that would spike my blood sugar). The fact is though that for some of us even if you do everything "right" we still end up on insulin. Try not to panic about it - a big part of the reason they put you right to insulin is that many doctors do not like to use any diabetic drugs in pregnancy - insulin is considered safer.


I was on insulin with ds & won't be surprised if we end up there again this time & it wasn't so bad after I got used to it. I don't want to do it again but I certainly won't be panicked if it happens 'cause quite frankly it brought my numbers under control immediately & took a LOT of the stress off.

post #56 of 296

Thanks everyone for the support.  I was having a rough two weeks there.  This time of the year is really hard for me because everyone in our house has summer birthdays.  My oldest just had his (during my weak time).  Next it's me in a couple days, then YDS's a week later.  Next month both DDs have bdays within 3 days of each other.  Plus there's the fourth of July and ...  s'mores!  It's almost too much for me to handle.  At least I know that my EDD is coming and hopefully I can just be mindful of my carbs in the future.


As far as keeping fasting numbers lower, my suggestion is the same as a previous poster's.  Cottage cheese and an apple as a nighttime snack *always* gives me low sugars in the mornings (between 77-86).  If I skip it, it will usually be higher.  I've also had to alter my glyburide to help.  My numbers were in the 100s when I was taking only 5 mg in the morning & at night.  Now I take 2.5 mg in the morning and 7.5 mg at night.  Much better for me.  No more lows in the middle of the day and no more high fastings in the morning.

post #57 of 296
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View Post


As far as keeping fasting numbers lower, my suggestion is the same as a previous poster's.  Cottage cheese and an apple as a nighttime snack *always* gives me low sugars in the mornings (between 77-86).  If I skip it, it will usually be higher.  I've also had to alter my glyburide to help.  My numbers were in the 100s when I was taking only 5 mg in the morning & at night.  Now I take 2.5 mg in the morning and 7.5 mg at night.  Much better for me.  No more lows in the middle of the day and no more high fastings in the morning.

Interesting - this really shows that we each need to see what works for our own bodies. There is no way my body could handle fruit at the end of the day yet this works for you. Just think how much we are learning about ourselves?!


post #58 of 296

I posted this in my ddc, but I wanted to post it here too:


I have a question: What do you (or your providers) make of variances in your readings? For example, this morning I tested my fasting and it was 100. I wanted to cry. I've been eating so well and I've upped my exercise and just really wanted to see that number drop below 95. I decided to re-test (right that moment) and it was 92. I decided to test one more time and it was 91.


I know its normal for there to be fluctuations (up to 15 points I think?) but when dealing with strict standards, those 8 and 9 point differences I got today mean a lot. It makes me feel like I can't trust my readings and that I should always test 2 or 3 times at every testing time.. which is crazy making and I'm not going to, but I am curious about your thoughts and experiences with this issue.

post #59 of 296
Thread Starter 

Ime there is definitely a variance. I was actually in the hospital for 3 days while pregnant with ds & they tested my bs every hour with their meter. I tested with mine each time as well 'cause I was curious how close my meter was to theirs. For the most part the two would test very close to each other but some were quite a ways off.


With this pregnancy I have on occasion tested multiple times at the same time & the readings are usually within 1-2 points of each other.


These meters are relatively "cheap" & as such will not have perfect accuracy. Please try not to make yourself crazy with testing 3 times every time. If you do get an unexpected higher reader that may not be a bad time to retest but at the same time the occasional higher reading should not be cause for concern - it's the overall trend you should be looking at. Unfortunately some providers do get hung up on one bad number.

post #60 of 296

protein before bed definitely helps my fasting numbers. I have not been wanting protein before bed but am trying to force it for now and and see if it makes a difference. carbs before bed are not a problem for me in terms of wanting them... that is a time of day I'd love a generous carb serving :) I looked back at my diet logs from last time and noticed I was making myself kefir/berry/PB smoothies and such at night (I recall they were actually fairly small, but just went down easier), thinking I might try that again. My mom has all this unsweetened whey powder. I am not a big fan of denatured foods but I might try something like a smoothie with some of that... I dunno.


I answered about variances in our DDC thread but here is how I deal with it... I normally don't test more than once but if I get a reading I don't expect (or, lol, don't like) I wash my hands and try again. And I record the one I "like". If they are WAY off from eachother, I might test a third time. Usually they are not that different though. Last time my HCPs wanted something like at least 80% of readings under targets. One high reading here and there didn't bother them.


I decided yesterday to skip one post-meal test a day. I am not even officially diagnosed and so far numbers have been good. I am doing fasting every morning and then 2 meals. (rotating which ones). I think I will stick to that for now. Actually my MWs just said fasting and one meal (rotating) but I find I get antsy about it. Maybe I should take their advice, huh? They think blood sugar control is important (and want my weekly logs) but I appreciate that they also think mental health about it all is important! They are also much more optimistic than I am that I will not have as much of a problem managing it as I did last time. I hope they are right.


I will be doing an A1C when I have iron levels checked in a couple of weeks. Have you guys done that? (I am NOT doing 3hr GTT unless something goes completely wacky with my numbers).


I am 24 weeks as of monday so feeling a little nervous b/c next 4 weeks is the window when "GD" will likely develop if it will. I looked back at my old logs and numbers and felt like, #1) yikes my numbers were higher than I recall! (though still they were FINE) and #2) I was eating a ton of food!

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