What you should know about gestational diabetes.

So, I know that you’ve probably heard about gestational diabetes – but what do you really know about it? Perhaps the things that you think you know, aren’t really all true. Let’s bust a few common myths to help you learn a little more.

I am overweight, so I will definitely have GDM. Um, no. Not at all. Although it is true that having a higher BMI increases your chances for developing gestational diabetes, it doesn’t mean that it is guaranteed to happen. There are plenty of other reasons to develop GD, and being overweight is but one.

I am very healthy, and have never had an issue before. I wont get GDM. Again, not true! Being healthy is absolutely excellent especially during pregnancy, but it can’t always prevent you from developing gestational diabetes. If you have a family history of diabetic¬†disorders, have a high level of amniotic fluid or even over the age of 25 years old, your chances are there. Don’t assume that your healthy style of living before you are pregnant will confirm that you will have a GDM-free pregnancy.

I can eat whatever I want since I am being monitored with insulin. Yes, real thing that some people think. Although it may sound ridiculous to you, some people think that even though they are being treated for something, they can continue to do what they want. so, NO YOU CANNOT EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT. There, I said it. The best thing that you can do, and your insurance should cover it, is contact a nutritionist. Some diabetes centers, like the one located in the hospital where I work, have a nutritionist there, and it is their job to help you find the best options for meals when you are a diabetic. Pregnant or not, diabetic or not, speaking to a nutritionist will help you tremendously, so take advantage! Learn what you can, can’t, should and should not eat!

I have GDM, I should be very scared. Anxiety is common in pregnancy. Being scared is normal. But you should not be scared of this. If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, the most important thing to do is listen to your providers. Your care team will do whatever it takes to make sure that you are on the right track, all you have to do is follow. Having a supportive group backing you up is so important, and trust me, they are there for you. Is it our job to help you get through this pregnancy as safely and as easily as possible, if there is anything we can do about it! Don’t be afraid or embarrassed just because you were diagnosed with GDM. You are not alone, and you too, will get through this.

Okay, so now that we got through those common myths, here’s what you should know:

-If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, make sure you don’t miss any of your OB appointments. If you are instructed to take your blood sugar and monitor it. Do just that! If you are not given a log, make one. A simple piece of paper, with times and blood sugar results will suffice. And trust me, your provider will really appreciate that.

-If you are checking your blood sugar regularly, make sure that your machine is calibrated properly, so that you are getting the correct result. If you start getting results that seem a little too high or too low than your normal results, call your diabetes care team. You can always bring your equipment to them, and they can make sure that the machine is working properly. Take advantage of your pharmacist as well. They are trained to make sure that these machines are working properly as well, and are open to any questions that you may have. But most importantly, if your numbers seem abnormal in either the too high or too low, contact your provider immediately, do NOT put it off and blame it on the machine! It could just as well, be you!

-If you are given a diet to stick to during your pregnancy because of your GDM, STICK TO IT! Just because you have been diagnosed with this, does not mean that you can’t eat anything good again. Do you know how many delicious healthy foods there are out there that you’ve never tried?! TONS! And you can make quinoa the most delish thing ever, if you have the right seasoning. Seriously. Nom nom. Don’t let a healthy and safe diet get you down. It could be an exciting new adventure in your kitchen, ya know.¬†Gestation Diabetes Recipes

-Don’t miss any appointments. I repeat, DON’T MISS ANY APPOINTMENTS. As if you needed to be told this, I am saying it again. Your appointments are important. Especially we you are diagnosed with a disorder during pregnancy. Every appointment is essential. And if you are told to do some testing, guess what? DO THAT TOO! Don’t miss those tests. Oh yeah, and if you are prescribed medication or insulin that you need to take at this time, TAKE THAT MEDICATION. They wouldn’t give you something that is not safe for your baby, and they wouldn’t be giving you the medication if you didn’t need it. Don’t stop taking your medication for any reason other than being instructed by your provider. This is very important!

The bottom line is, if you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, remember that you are not alone. This is not the end. This is not something that you should be devastated about. You can still have a perfectly awesome, super fun filled, glorious, radiant and incredible pregnancy. I promise.

And as always, contact your provider for more information. I am here as a resource, as someone who has experience with GDM patients, and as your doula and educator who cares about YOU and YOUR PREGNANCY. That’s it!

 

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