While I haven't gotten the "label" of Gestational Diabetes I went for my 3hr glucose this morning and was sent home because my fasting base level was 139 - and was referred to an endocrinologist. ARGH
I am overweight, have hypothryroidism and a family history of diabetes, so not completely out of the scope of possibilty. HOWEVER I was really hoping for a homebirth and want to really work proactively (or reactively as this case might really be) to make it the best possibilty for a homebirth (or at least a unmedicated birth).
I was wondering if any of you have any resources which are user friendly but also detailed in managing gestational diabetes? I am looking for diets/nutirional plans, alternative modalities of health care, books, apps for meal tracking/nutritional information, ......
any pointers, words of hope, inspiration....
WOHMama to DD (July 2008) and DS (May 2013); wife to DH .
Live your life, like your life depends on it.
Hi There! Here are some of the documents my hospital shared with me that helped me get started. Honestly - the most effective change I made to my diet was cutting out white flour and all sugars (refined, natural, and artificial). It's not easy - and I do give in to the occassional treat - but making sure I exercise before and after is key. Hope this information helps!
Getting Started: Eating Plan for Gestational Diabetes
All foods affect one’s blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates have the most direct impact. Digestion of carbohydrates releases simple sugar molecules such as glucose which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. When you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, avoiding excess consumption of carbohydrate is required to control blood sugar levels.
Foods containing carbohydrates:
- Grains, breads, cereals and dried beans
- Starchy vegetables
- Fruits and juice
- Milk and yogurt
- Sweets and desserts
Carbohydrates are essential for growing a healthy baby. Establishing appropriate amounts to consume and how to distribute your intake requires a specialized individualized meal plan. This is best created by a registered dietitian/nutritionist. The following guidelines are offered to help get you started before your scheduled nutrition consultation.
Carbohydrate Controlled Eating Plan
Approximately 2200-2400 calories and 200-250gm of carbohydrate each day is generally recommended. Distributing daily carbohydrates sensibly into 3 meals and some snacks is advised to promote optimal blood sugar control.
Daily carbohydrate budgets usually allow for: 30-60gm per meal
0-30gm per snack
To estimate the amount of carbohydrate in foods, read labels for serving size and total carbohydrate content. If labels are not available, use the Carbohydrate Exchange System:
1 carbohydrate exchange/serving/choice = amount of food with 15gm of total carbohydrate.
Each of the following portions is the equivalent of 15gm of carbohydrate:
Grains, Breads, Cereal
Milk and Yogurt
- 1 slice bread
- 6” tortilla
- 1/2 cup cooked
- 1/3 cup pasta,
- ½ cup cold cereal
- ½ cup hot cereal
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup soymilk*
- ¾ cup plain
lowfat or nonfat
- 1 small fruit
- ½ cup fruit
- 1 cup melon
- ½ cup juice
- 2 Tbsp dried fruit
3 cups salad
1 ½ cups cooked
½ cup potato, peas,
1 cup winter squash
Protein foods (poultry, meat, fish, eggs) and fats (oils, margarine, nuts) are carbohydrate free or contain negligible amounts. These foods also slow absorption of sugar into the blood.
Favor high fiber choices. Fiber slows absorption of sugar into the blood which is beneficial.
Exercising before or after eating can lower blood sugar; any activity is better than none!
Daily Needs When Pregnant – Recommended Servings
Food Group # of Servings
Vegetables 3 or more
1 serving of fat = 1 tsp oil, margarine, butter, mayo, 1 Tbsp dressing/ lite mayo, 6-10 nuts
Breakfast: 1-2 slice whole grain bread
1 egg, 1 slice of cheese or 1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup milk or 1 serving of fruit
Lunch: 2 slices whole grain bread or medium wheat tortilla
2oz chicken or ½ cup canned salmon or 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter
(@ lunch Raw veggies as desired, some mayo/mustard, small amt all fruit jam
1 cup milk +/or Large salad with Lite dressing
1 serving fruit 2 oz cheese or other protein
or 6 oz yogurt*) ½ cup cooked beans, 1 small wheat pita
Dinner: 3-4 oz poultry, lean meat etc or 4 oz of firm tofu
2/3-1 cup rice, pasta, potato, peas or corn
Cooked non starchy vegetable and/or salad
1 cup milk +/or 1 fruit
* Greek style yogurts and Stonyfield yogurt (higher in protein & lower in carbs).
Snacks: Please refer to the handout called:
Carbohydrate Controlled Snacks for Those with Gestational Diabetes
- Keep treats and refined starchy snack foods to a minimum.
- Space meals and snacks apart by a minimum of 2 hours.
- Other than some milk, water is your best beverage choice.
Remember, this is only intended to get you started!
Please record a 3 day food log to bring to your nutrition counseling appointment.
Out patient RD/Diabetes Nutrition Educator @ Emerson Hospital
And here are some snack ideas...
Carbohydrate Controlled Snacks for Those with Gestational Diabetes
Unless you’ve been advised on a more specific amount of carbohydrate, 15-30gm is usually a reasonable amount of carbohydrate to consume for a snack. The best choices combine the appropriate amount of carbohydrate with some protein, fiber and a bit of fat.
Here are some snack suggestions and an approximation of the amount of carbohydrate they contain.
All product labels should be checked for more accurate information per serving. Comparing different products is useful as brands vary in their total carbohydrate content. Be clear about the amount of carbohydrate your portion contains in relation to the product label’s description of one serving.
Many of these choices will work as convenient options for a busy day or commute.
Approximate Amount of Carbohydrate
1 cup greek style yogurt such as Chobani (option: add handful nuts/seeds) 13-20gm
1-2 fruit servings* with 1 string cheese or 1 TBSP peanut butter or nuts/seeds 15-30gm
½ cup cottage cheese with 1 fruit serving 21-22gm
1 slice bread with protein (cheese, egg, chicken) 15-20gm
4-6 triscuits with cheese 15-20gm
1/3-1/2 cup hummus with raw vegetables 20-30gm
1 wheat Matzoh with margarine/butter or Lite Laughing Cow Cheese 20-30gm
1 cup milk, 1 graham cracker & cheese or 1 Tbsp of peanut butter 22-26gm
1 wheat tortilla with sauce & cheese/melted 10-20gm
3 cups popcorn and 1 string cheese 15-20gm
2-3 Tbsp of raisins with a 100 calorie packet of nuts 18-25gm
Breakfast/Sports Bars: Compare brands as they vary in calories, carbohydrate, protein etc
Balance Bars (200 calorie range) 22-23gm
Special K Bars (90-150 calories) 15-25gm
Kashi Bars (120-190 calories) 20-30gm
Kid Z Cliff Bars (125 calories) 23gm
Kind Fruit & Nut Bars (150-230 calories) 11-22gm
Nature Valley Granola Bars (140-180 calories) 25-29gm
1 Cup Milk or Substitute such as Soy, Rice, Almond Milk etc.: 12-20gm
*1 fruit serving contains 15gm of carbohydrate. A suitable serving size is approximately:
- 1 small piece of fruit
- 1 cup melon or berries
- ½ large banana
- 2 Tbsp of raisins
Personally I have learned that I am particularly prone to the dawn effect; breakfast consists of eggs or meat and 1/4 cup of berries or yogurt--that's it. I have also learned that you can respond to different carb sources differently--for instance I can eat more theoretical carbs from fruit or yogurt than I can eat from bread products. Sometimes I feel like I am performing a science fair project with myself as the guinea pig.
One serve of carbohydrates is 12g. Check labels because some of the manufacturers "serves" are bigger than that.
Strawberries are a "free" fruit (one of the only free fruit). I ate a lot of strawberries.
I learned that morning was my least stable time as well. I found that one serve of carbs at breakfast, one for morning tea and two for lunch usually worked well. A typical day would be 3 scrambled egg with one slice of buttered toast for breakfast, half a cup of yogurt for morning tea and dinner leftovers for lunch. Maybe chicken and veggie stir fry with rice.
I found it helpful to measure portions of rice, pasta, yoghurt, veggies etc.
Exercise made my sugars worse. Can't explain that but it did.
Sometimes you will get a random high sugar even though your diet has been great. Even if you've eaten the same things that gave you great numbers the day before. It's hormonal. It's really annoying but there's nothing you can do about it. All my HCPs were very reasonable about this.
Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012
Wife to one amazing husband , SAHM to DS 10/09, DS 10/19, one furbaby , and lots of !