Gestational Diabetes was definitely one of the greatest hurdles I had to go through during my pregnancy. And even until today, only a couple of my friends know about it. So today I am going to talk about it.
On a side track, one thing you got to learn during pregnancy or in fact life in general; learn to share information wisely.
I came to know that I had Gestational Diabetes (GD) about during early of my 2nd trimester. You should have seen my face. I was extremely shocked. Because for someone like me who exercises regularly and has a pretty decent healthy diet, it is almost unbelievable.
I cried for whole 3 days... yes... anyway bear in mind that pregnant women cry easily. So I really cried tears of disappointment due to the diagnosis, I also cried I think due to the rise of crazy hormones. But really feeling that life is so unfair.
It took me 2 whole weeks to kind of come to terms with it. And believe me, it was like all of a sudden, you want to eat all the sweet stuff or food which are high on GI contents. But such a surge is nothing but just a rebellious brain.
I definitely did not opt to do a GD test because once again, I never expected it to happen to me. I was being asked to go to for the GD test because my gynae felt that my boy was bigger than the normal range for 1st Trimester babies.
I went for the test and voila! I received a report that I was slightly GD. So the thing, we got to understand is; slight GD is still GD. So, my gynae sent me to a specialist doctor who annoyed the hell out of me (story for another day), and went through the list of kinds of food and fruits recommended to consume or to refrain from.
So basically, I was given a sheet of paper to record my readings. My blood readings. I needed to prick myself 6 times a day - before food, 2 hours after food and for all 3 meals.
There is a strict index range given and the rule of thumb is in a month, I must not exceed 3 readings. Here's a sample of mine:
So what are the probable reasons why a pregnant person would have GD?
To be honest, it is impossible for a person to fully prevent GD. In a nutshell, anyone can get GD, it is just a matter of it you are of a higher risk, e.g. if you are overweight.
Gestational Diabetes is basically pregnant women who can't make enough insulin during pregnancy and develop gestational diabetes. Based on my understanding, our placenta hormones can also block the insulin from clearing the glucose in our bodies.
So what will happen to the baby if GD is not managed and not under control?
1. Baby Too Big.
Glucose in your bloodstream crosses the placenta, which triggers your baby's pancreas to make extra insulin. There will be a likelihood for baby to become wedged in the birth canal, sustain birth injuries or require a C-section birth.
2. Premature Birth and Respiratory Problems
The mommy's high blood sugar may increase the risk of early labor before due date. This could lead to complications, i.e. breathing difficulties because the lungs of the baby is not mature yet. Or the gynae may recommend early delivery because the baby is big.
3. Low blood sugar or Hypoglycemia
Sometimes, babies born out of mothers with GD develop low blood sugar shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. Severe episodes of hypoglycemia may provoke seizures in the baby.
4.Type 2 diabetes (later in life)
Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of being obese and hence develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
The good news about a GD patient ~~~ is, you generally still can eat sweet stuff here and there but you need to be cautious at all times. For instance, I was so upset after seeing that doctor in charge of my GD readings, I went to eat chicken rice. The chicken rice chili was a killer. So obviously, my first reading failed.
My point is, you cannot prevent GD and it is regardless of if you are workout fit or a fatty chick. Here is a few suggestions that I have...
1. 3 meals a day or small meals throughout the day. Do not skip a meal. If you have irregular meals, you will provoke your body to have a surge of blood sugar.
2. Do simple exercises. My gynae suggested that if I ate a little more sweets during a particular meal, go walk for a little longer to digest and it does help with the sugar level.
3. Observe yourself. Have a food log. A food log helps you remember what you ate and the portion. With that you can reflect on the possible type of food which might have caused you to burst your blood sugar test. I remember I ate ramen one time with my husband and 2 hours later, my blood test shows that my sugar level was out of range. Since then, I became more careful with ramen.
4. Plan your meals. Eat at home and that's the best. I started getting back to my baked chicken and broccoli.
5. Research. Understand GI foods. You will be surprised that there are quite a numerous amount of food, fruits which are not suitable for people with diabetes. Or even some foods which do not impact our sugar level that much.
In my entire journey of Gestational Diabetes, I burst my blood sugar test thrice. First was the angry chicken rice saga after finding out my diagnosis. Two was when I ate a super duper small 'dou-sa' bun. Third, was my ramen moment.
And for whatever reason it may be that you have GD during this season, remember that it is not your fault in anyway especially if you are someone like me, actively working out and eating a decent healthy diet.
So it is possible with some adjustments, to eat well and give birth to a healthy baby!