First three months of pregnancy was bit rough for me. I had continuous vomiting and nausea, but I survived that and pregnancy was smooth until my 24th week, yes I failed my Glucose Tolerance test and confirmed with Gestational Diabetes after second screening. It was so devastating for me, as I never heard any Gestational Diabetes stories before and no one in my family had undergone that. I have always been on the smaller side, so even we little people can get diabetes. When my Diabetologist told my numbers was not too high and I can control it through diet, and no need for any oral medication or insulin shots if I maintain the sugar levels, I felt bit relaxed hearing that. As I was an Indian and living in Germany, my doctor who was obviously a German couldn’t give me an exact diet suggestion which I needed. He told me to cut of the rice as I am an Asian, as Asians eat rice more (yes, of-course as a South Indian, I cannot live without eating rice). I came home with the determination of controlling my sugar levels through proper diet. But, the problem is I doesn’t know what to eat and I ended up starving. I remember calling my husband and crying who was at work, as I was hungry and couldn’t know what to eat. Then, I started my research and made a diet plan suitable for me. Once I started the diet, I just fell in love with it which made me follow till now.
With my experience on Gestational Diabetes I just want to share some tips as follows,
Don’t over think. For those who diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes , it’s not a walk in the park but it can be managed. Calm your mind first. Depression and stress will only harm your health and baby, so put your mind at ease. Healthy diet during Gestational Diabetes will not make you to gain more weight which is more helpful to easily lose that extra kgs post delivery.
Carbs are not an enemy. Carbs eventually turn into glucose so it’s important not to be excessive, but at the same time avoiding it totally will make you weak. However, Carbs should be included in every meal. Glucose in the blood is necessary because it is the fuel for your body and nourishment your baby receives from you. A reasonable portion doesn’t raise your blood sugar level. Starch is definitely a source of energy, which is totally needed for a pregnant women. You need to eat a consistent and moderate amount of carbs regularly through the day.
Monitor blood sugar level. Immediately after diagnosis of Gestational Diabetes, the doctor will suggest to get a Diabetes Kit, which includes needles to prick your finger and a little machine that reads your blood sugar. Check first thing in the morning to get your fasting rate and then an hour after you eat each meal to make sure your blood sugar stays in a healthy range. It’s definitely an empowering feeling when our blood sugar reading is good as we made a healthy food choice.
Sugar free diet. Avoiding unnecessary carbs such as sugar, which includes carbonated drinks, lollies, soft drink, cordial, fruit juice and sugary substances. You can give yourself some treats at times for self-appreciation, but you should never over do it.
Have an exercise routine. Go for a walk or take the stairs after a meal to lower your glucose levels. It’s ideal to go for a walk at-least 30 min to an hour daily apart from after meal walk. Doing meditation really helped me to focus and reduce stress. Yoga is another good choice during a general pregnancy and especially during Gestational Diabetes.
Eat healthy. Never skip a breakfast. Your blood glucose levels are most likely to be out of whack in the morning , so skipping a breakfast will definitely put you and your baby at risk. Eat a good breakfast with proteins and limited carbohydrates avoid fruits with breakfast. Distribute your foods between three meals and two or three snacks each day. Eating on a particular time each day helps you to monitor your blood sugar level. so, make a time for all the meals and snack that you take.
Sleep well. Insufficient sleep will make blood sugar level to go high. I know it’s hard to say a pregnant women to sleep well but, good night sleep will keep your numbers normal. Exercising and being more active will definitely give a good night sleep.
Keep a diet plan. Keeping a track on what we eat will help a lot in getting an idea of what makes the numbers go high. Once you master that you can make a diet plan and eat accordingly so that you are not stressed of thinking what to make for each meal. Add lots of proteins in each meal, it helps a lot to make your tummy full. Eating home-made food is the healthy for you and baby, so try to make your own food. I didn’t say food at the restaurants are not healthy but we can’t go wrong with home-made food. When you doesn’t have anyone to cook for you and if you feel overwhelming just go out and eat. Eating out occasionally is not a big deal.
Gestational diabetes can be easily managed through proper diet. I never felt hungry, i ate carefully planned meals and snacks on a strict schedule. I kept my glucose level in check and delivered to a healthy baby in full term without undergoing c-section. By the end of my pregnancy I gained 11 kgs, which is now all gone since I continued my diet after having my baby girl. GD (Gestational Diabetes) actually forces women to eat healthy and exercise. With the right education Gestational diabetes can be easily managed. Some food items that agree well with someone else who is pregnant may not be good for you. If so, please consult your doctor or a nutritionist for advise.