When I was approximately 7 months pregnant, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. That diagnosis left me felling guilty and with so many questions: what did I do? Was it all those cravings I had at the start of the pregnancy that caused the diabetes? Is it my fault? The guilt was overwhelming.
If you are in this situation, and are feeling guilty let me start by telling you THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT!
According to healthinfo.org and diabetes new zealand, gestational diabetes happens when certain type of hormones made by the placenta during late pregnancy are released. These hormones make it harder to control blood sugar level. Some bodies can’t produce enough insulin to keep up with the changes and those glucose increases, causing the diabetes.
if you have gestational diabetes it is likely to disappear once the baby is born. For now here are a few tips to help you control it!
1) have 6 small meals a day;
2) reduce intake of saturated fats such as: fatty beef, lamb, pork, poultry with skin, beef fat, cream, cheese, butter, whole milk dairy products, baked goods and fried foods. Certain vegetable products also have high saturated fat content, such as coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil. The American heart association recommends around 5% – 6% intake of saturated fats a day;
3) intake 1 source of carbohydrates with every meal, such as: multigrain/ wholegrain breads, cereals, pasta, noodles and rice (basmati rice is the best as it’ll keep you fuller for longer), potato, sweet potato, corn, legumes, fruits, milk and yogurt;
4) your diet should include 4 main food sources to keep your body ticking and helping your little bundle grow: calcium (milk, cheese and nuts), iron (red meat, chicken (without fat), fish, tofu and chickpeas), folic acid (dark green leafy vegetables) and carbohydrates.
for some women controlling diet is not enough, and thus they have to be controlled with medication, that is ok. If you have any concerns regarding gestational diabetes and the complications this may bring talk to your doctor and midwife.