You know you have to check them, right? I read a Facebook post yesterday where a woman wrote that she was afraid to check them.
Let’s think about that, shall we? I mean, I am afraid of a lot of things. Data is not one of them. And, that is what you are gathering.
It might feel like a judgement against you, especially if you have not been following a healthy gestational diabetes meal plan. If you have been snacking too much, or eating too big of portions. But the damage is already done and you are already making it worse by ignoring it. Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t make it any better. Face up to it.
Ok, now that I have that off my chest, I want to talk about how often to check your blood sugars.
First of all, make sure you know what your doctor or dietitian wants you to do. Best practice in the beginning when you are still learning – and if you have to take insulin – is 4 times a day.
When you wake up
One hour after you start eating breakfast
One hour after you start eating lunch
One hour after you start eating supper
*Any time you feel “funny” or different.
You need to check your blood sugar at least once a day after you are past the early stages and are well balanced. If your doctor wants more – do it. If you end up checking it once per day, vary the time that you check it so you get a good idea of where it’s at throughout the day. Our bodies handle sugar and insulin different depending on a lot of things. Best that you understand your body, because it’s different than other pregnant and gestational diabetic women.
In the morning, you may have what is called a “dawn phenomenon“.
Basically,it’s that your blood sugar is higher than normal because your body (in the middle of the night) gets a little low on blood sugar so it reacts by making more blood sugar. Add that to the fact that you may be low on insulin, and it’s going to be a little elevated. Many women counter this by eating a little larger evening snack and making sure it has a combination of protein and carbohydrate. That way it takes longer to digest, and gives your body carbohydrate throughout the night. It’s not a good idea to counter the higher blood sugars by skipping a bedtime snack.
Most women are taught to measure their blood sugars about one hour after they start eating, also known as “post prandial”. This is the time when your blood sugar is likely to have peaked and should be below 140 mg/dl. If it’s higher than that, look at the meal and see where the carbohydrate is lurking. Earlier this week I wrote about a gestational diabetes meal plan for a week, and I know it’s hard to understand that a lot of foods have carbohydrate in them.
Ask your doctor how you should treat your blood sugar numbers – the answer may be that it depends… Either way, you have to check them. Not checking them is putting your baby at higher risk, and you as well. It’s just information that you can use to make a decision about how to treat your blood sugar levels. That’s it, that’s all, and you need to track them throughout the day.