Medical Costs For Gestational Diabetes Higher, But At What Price?

I came across a recently released study today, and I was shocked to find out:

From the sample of 4,372 women, those with a diagnosis of GDM were almost twice as likely to undergo an emergency caesarean section, and their infants were three times more likely to be admitted to a neonatal unit. The resulting maternity care costs, specifically calculated by sampling patients from the public healthcare system, were increased by 34%.Of the other variables included in the analysis, maternal obesity was found to increase costs by 21%.

“Aside from the serious health implications, GDM is also placing a substantial economic burden on maternity care costs. This burden is likely to rise in the future if current practices remain unchanged given projected increases in GDM prevalence rates. However, what our study really highlights are the potential cost savings which may go to offset the costs of interventions that aim to prevent the onset of GDM in pregnancy,” explains Dr Paddy Gillespie, from the School of Business and Economics at NUI Galway.

http://www.healthcanal.com/pregnancy-childbirth/35205-Maternity-Care-Costs-for-Pregnant-Women-with-Gestational-Diabetes-are-Higher.html

Wow!  Obesity and gestational diabetes – two words I don’t want to hear as a mom-to-be.  But, when you look further into this study, you see it says that the costs can be reduced by the additional testing that is being required by our (US) new health care laws.  By the requirement to test all moms for gestational diabetes, we find out sooner that they have or don’t have the disease.

If you know you have gestational diabetes, you are going to do what you need to do to get your baby and you through the pregnancy in a healthy way.  You will probably buy my book on gestational diabetes meal planning: Gestational Diabetes Diet Meal Plan and Recipes: Your Guide To Controlling Blood Sugars & Weight Gain

That book is really helpful, by the way.  But many women find out too late that they have gestational diabetes because they don’t get tested.  Then the baby ends up too big, mom gains a lot of weight, and they have an emergency c-section.  Not fun.  So, embrace the idea that knowing is half the battle, and I congratulate you on finding out more information so you are best equipped to deal with this disease.

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How Do I Deal With Gestational Diabetes? 3 Steps For The Mom To Be

Dealing With Gestational Diabetes Is A Mental And Physical Ordeal

You may have just learned that you have gestational diabetes and you are still somewhat overwhelmed about it.  I remember being overwhelmed myself, especially with all there is to learn about.  I want you to know that you are not along and you can make it through.

You are working for both you and your baby.  I tried to think about the baby when I was feeling frustrated about what I needed to do and how I was going to get it all done.

Step One Is Learning What It Means To You

Every woman who has gestational diabetes does not have the same experience.  You will not be like your friend who has a horror story to tell you about her pregnancy.  Your body will react in a way that makes sense for you.  You may or may not have to take shots or be on bedrest.  It all depends.

Step Two Is Starting Small

Gestational diabetes is a huge undertaking.  That is why a step by step approach is the best one to have.  You can start with learning what it means.  You can learn a great deal about the overall picture and what it means to you from just reading a couple of articles on wikipedia about gestational diabetes.  Then you will know what it can be and how you can work to manage it.

After all, it is manageable.  You will get through it, and I don’t care if you were diagnosed at week 8 or week 38, it matters to keep you blood sugar levels under control.

Step Three Is Understanding Your Body

You need to learn what carbohydrates are.  Carbohydrates are the parts of food that are made up of glucose molecules, and your label on the food products tell you how much carbohydrate is in one serving of a food.  Knowing how your body reacts to carbohydrate is important in your control.  Some women can eat a good amount of carbohydrate and not have the same high blood sugar that other women have.  Some women find that eating just a small amount of carbohydrate really increases their blood sugar levels and they have to be very careful about what they eat and how much.

So, understand your body is different from everyone else.  Understand that you will have a different experience than others, and not beating yourself up over it will keep you sane.  Don’t expect to be perfect, do your best and eat what you can with a balanced diet.  Check your blood sugars as often as the doctor tells you to, so you can get good feedback on how you are doing.  And take your medication as prescribed.

If you are looking for a great way to manage a gestational diabetes diet, go and pick up our amazon book at:

Gestational Diabetes Meal Planning On Amazon

 

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Will I Still Have Gestational Diabetes After The Baby Is Born?

Will I Still Have Gestational Diabetes After The Baby Is Born?

Gestational Diabetes is not forever, just while you are pregnant.baby girl on chest

Yes, I did say that you will no longer have gestational diabetes once you give birth.  Because you are no longer pregnant.  And your hormones that were once raging through your body are suddenly gone.

So, not only do you lose the moodiness and any sort of full night’s sleep, you also lose the hormones your placenta is pumping out and giving your body such a hard time with.  You can finally eat cake and not have to worry about gestational diabetes.  Well, that is somewhat true.

Here is what happens – once you give birth, your placenta also comes out.  Your placenta is responsible for feeding the baby and making sure the environment in your womb is appropriate for your baby to survive.  So, it pumps out some hormones, like HCG, which keep your pregnancy going.  These hormones are also responsible for throwing your insulin system out of whack and causing you to have gestational diabetes.

When you give birth, a lot of changes happen.  You will be tested for several meals, possibly several days, to see if you are still having problems with your blood sugars.  To make sure that your body is recovering well from the shock of the birth and any other disruptions.  For most women, the gestational diabetes does go away and a regular diet results.  You are free to have your cake and eat it too!

Women sometimes do continue to have problems with their blood sugar after the birth, so it can happen.  You will have to continue on a diabetic diet and be evaluated further for your condition.  When this happens, it is usually that you had diabetes before you got pregnant and it was undiagnosed.  So you technically had it prior to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  And you will continue to have it – and possibly continue to need medication and other interventions to improve your health and well being.  After all, you have a lovely child to care for now!

You should also be aware that women who have gestational diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the next 10 years after the birth of the child.  So, it’s in your best interest to maintain a diet similar to the gestational diabetes diet you started.  That will keep your blood sugars normal and under control.

If you need help with your gestational diabetes meal plan, check out our gestational diabetes meal planning kit in print at : http://www.gestationaldiabeticdiethq.com/amazon-gdm

 

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines: 3 Tips To Get Started Right!

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines: 3 Tips To Get Started Right!

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines Are A Good Place To Start

Gestational diabetes is a condition that sometimes arises during pregnancy as a result of high blood glucose levels. During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur which are normal and usually not a problem. However, in certain cases these higher hormonal levels interfere with the body’s ability to manage glucose. This results in insulin resistance that can cause problems like excessive weight gain and the possibility of premature delivery.

Gestational Diabetes Guidelines To Control Your Blood Sugars

Doctors use gestational diabetes guidelines when testing and throughout the pregnancy to get the best possible outcomes for both you and your baby.  Although glucose levels return to normal levels following childbirth, the risk remains higher for women who had gestational diabetes that they will develop diabetes later on in their life. Therefore it is important to prevent or control gestational diabetes whenever possible. Fortunately there are things to be done to help control the condition, and here are some of the basics.

Staying Hydrated

Doctors know that according to the gestational diabetes guidelines, the effects of gestational diabetes are made worse by dehydration. Therefore you should make an effort to drink enough liquids. Be sure to have at least one glass of something to drink with every meal and at other convenient times for a total of at least 64 ounces per day. It’s important to drink non-caloric fluids, and mostly water to help with gestational diabetes.  You should not add extra calories and sugar by drinking juice, and avoid drinking any juice at breakfast.  Gestational diabetes guidelines recommend that you drink to keep your body healthy. Also do not drink more than two cups of coffee or three cups of tea per day.

Eat Healthy

One of the best ways of controlling gestational diabetes is through diet. Not the kind of weight losing diet you might adapt to lose unwanted pounds when you are not pregnant, but the kind of healthy eating that ensures that you have the proper nutrition for you and your unborn child. That means balancing carbohydrates, eating more fiber, and consuming less sugar and fat.  Gestational diabetes guidelines recommend that you eat whole grains and more whole fruit and vegetables, and less processed foods.  Watching what you eat and add to food, like gravies or sweets makes a difference in your blood sugar levels.  Some women find that eating and then taking a short walk will make a difference in their blood sugar levels for the day.  Either way, a healthy diet meal plan can make a difficult task into an easy accomplishment.

Meeting Your Dietary Needs

Eating a diet that meets all of your nutritional needs when pregnant can sometimes be a complicated undertaking even under normal circumstances. But when the pregnancy is further complicated by gestational diabetes, it can be even more difficult to make certain you are eating right. Therefore it is usually best to seek outside guidance to determine what you should eat in order to lessen the imp[act of gestational diabetes or to lessen its symptoms. Your doctor can help you with this and there are reputable suppliers of products specifically geared to the needs of women who are concerned about gestational diabetes. It is wise to look into these services early in your pregnancy before problems develop, so talk to your doctor today about how you can establish a dietary regimen that is effective for controlling gestational diabetes.  You can find a set of gestational diabetes meal plans made to get you started off on the right foot at this website – click here to learn more!

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan: What Does That Mean?

Gestational Diabetes Meal Plan: What Does That Mean?

How do I manage gestational diabetes?

Women who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes may be need guidelines or help about what this means and how to eat to keep their blood sugar stable. It is important to get the right types of carbohydrates and plenty of protein as well as vitamins and minerals. This involves careful planning and your doctor will help you choose the plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.

Why is your doctor checking your blood sugar for gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that may develop during pregnancy characterized by high blood sugar levels. That is why your doctor monitors your blood sugar levels throughout your pregnancy. The woman who is diagnosed with it will check her blood sugar often during the day to help determine how her gestational diabetes diet plan is working. This may be as often as four or five times daily. She must choose the right foods prepared the right way for the baby and herself.

How will you know what to eat for gestational diabetes?

Your doctor may give you some simple instructions on a gestational diabetic diet or he may send you to a nutritionist. Either way you will find yourself shopping carefully, and possibly weighing and measuring your food. Your doctor may also tell you about products on the market that are complete gestational diabetes diet plans or you may ask about them. All of these methods have their advantages, but some are less complicated than others. The complete diet plans take a lot of the work away, and assure the right balance for every meal and snack.

Who becomes diabetic during pregnancy?

Most pregnancies have no risk factors of gestational diabetes, but weight issues and sugar processing issues are risk factors that can be controlled by diet. Following a gestational diabetes diet plan helps address them, with little effort on your part. With the right plan you will be confident that you are eating healthfully but not so much as to cause excessive weight. When thinking about the cost in time, and possible birth defects and birth complications it is well worth the expectant mother’s time to do her best for her unborn child. A gestational diabetes meal plan may be just the answer for your pregnancy needs.

What are the advantages of a gestational diabetes meal plan?

A gestational diabetes meal plan eliminates the work of counting and measuring and looking up values of foods. It gives you time for other healthy things, like physical activity, working and caring for your family. A gestational diabetes meal plan takes the guesswork out of your daily routine.  You can find our plans and more information about gestational diabetes meal planning on our page – Click Here.

Diet for Gestational Diabetes: Where Do I Start?

Diet for Gestational Diabetes: Where Do I Start?

Diet for Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is brought on when a woman becomes pregnant; this process occurs due to the hormone changes within the body because of the placenta. During pregnancy, the placenta delivers nutrients to the uterus so that the fetus may develop. However, as the hormone levels in a woman’s body changes, their body may not be able to efficiently manage the glucose levels.

Although these changes are occurring, a woman’s pancreas will naturally produce more insulin to offset the indifference. It is when a woman’s pancreas is not able to produce more insulin that glucose levels within the body rise, which leads to gestational diabetes. However, there are some dietary techniques including meal plans one may employ to help manage their gestational diabetes condition.

Dietary Techniques

One may follow some basic dietary techniques in conjunction with choosing appropriate foods to help manage their gestational diabetes. It is beneficial for one to eat three small meals a day at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, it is also healthy to have two healthy snacks in-between meals throughout the day. It is important to not skip any of the meals or snacks because this helps to maintain insulin levels. When an individual is choosing foods to eat, it is wise to opt for fiber-rich, high-carbohydrate foods that will help to maintain glucose levels as well. However, during morning hours, it is not advisable to consume carbohydrate-rich foods as insulin levels are peaked at this time.

Foods & Drink

It is important for one to choose healthy foods and drinks to consume to help keep their gestational diabetes condition managed. Among choosing healthy foods, one should drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated. Healthy food choices include: four servings of dairy foods, or 1200 mg of calcium/day, three servings of iron-rich foods such as rice, eggs or leafy-green vegetables. It is also beneficial for one to consume one food source containing vitamin C per day; this can be an orange, green bell pepper, kiwi, papaya or even a serving of brussel sprouts. Lastly, it also beneficial for one to consume one food source per day that is rich in vitamin A; this can include butternut squash, sweet potatoes, or carrots.

Other Tips

Final tips for one to try are to refrain from foods that are high in sugar, or fat as well as to avoid caffeine, alcohol, or tobacco. Drinking caffeine, alcohol or consuming tobacco products all can aggravate gestational diabetes as well as cause birth defects.

Following these dietary techniques and using a gestational diabetes meal plan will allow a woman to manage her gestational diabetes and keep it in control so that it does not ultimately affect their baby. Typically once the child has been delivered, a woman’s glucose levels will return to normal thus reversing the gestational diabetes condition.

Gestational Diabetes – How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugars?

Gestational Diabetes – How Often Should I Check My Blood Sugars?

fingerstick diabetesYou 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.

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Getting Started with Gestational Diabetes – A One Week Plan

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes.

A kit used by a woman with gestational diabetes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you need a gestational diabetes meal plan for one week?  Did you just fail your 1 hour GTT or 3 hour GTT?  Let me explain to you what you can do…

What sort of meal plan do I need with gestational diabetes?

First of all, a meal plan is a great place to start.  I am glad that you are here and trying to learn more about gestational diabetes.  It’s a short term condition, and if you are like me, you will be fine with doing whatever it takes to make sure the baby is healthy!

So, to begin with, you need to plan out your day.  Start with learning what is a carbohydrate.  You can read the labels on your foods, and if you look towards the middle to bottom of a label, it tells you “Total Carbohydrate” (per serving).  This is the amount of carbohydrate – and carbohydrate is what increases your blood sugar.  You want to start out with eating only 30 – 45 grams per meal.  If you are having a hard time keeping your blood sugars under control, aim for the lower amount.  So plan out what you will eat at each meal that is carbohydrate.  Then add in the fat and proteins.  You can have extra on the protein and fat, and it won’t affect your blood sugar too much.  So, pick a slice or two of whole grain bread – then add vegetables and meat and make a big sandwich.  Eat some carrots with it, or a salad with just a light dressing.  Have a cheese stick or cottage cheese or other snack throughout the day.

What sort of options do I have with gestational diabetes meal plans?

Secondly, you can choose multiple items in each category to make a great meal.  Start your breakfast with eggs and bacon and an english muffin.  No juice or fruit for breakfast – they seem to spike gestational diabetes moms really fast especially in the morning.  For lunch, choose a tortilla to wrap some lunch meat and vegetables in – or go with rice and beans – but just a light serving and add lots of green and yellow vegetables to fill you up.  Again, you should aim for 30-45 gm of carbohydrate at a meal to begin with.  If you do ok with that, and you are checking your blood sugars regularly, you may be able to eat a bit more.  But you probably want to consider adding more protein and fat foods – like peanut butter on celery for a snack.

In the evening – you should aim for 3 meals and 3 snacks, you can eat a combo carbohydrate – some women love a small serving of peanut butter and crackers, others love 1/2 cup of regular ice cream.  The fat seems to help with their blood sugars in the morning.  All snacks should be about 15 grams of carbohydrate per session.

What will help me to succeed with a gestational diabetes pregnancy?

Finally, it’s important to manage your carbohydrate!  Most of all, you can eat a lot of things, but always combine your carbohydrate with another type of food – fat or protein – to reduce it’s immediate effect on blood sugar.  You will learn that almost all the foods you love have carbohydrate in them.  That does not mean that you can’t eat them, it just means that you need to be aware of the amount that you eat of them.

It’s a short term problem, and managing it during that time can be hard.  If you want a printed meal pattern for different calorie levels, complete with breakfast, lunch and snack ideas as well as dinner meals the whole family can enjoy, you can learn more about our plans that we offer.  We also have a great email group – sign up below to learn more about gestational diabetes today!

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Gestational Diabetes Symptoms – How Do I Know If I Am Going To Have GDM?

Gestational Diabetes Symptoms Are Hard To Spot!

Pregnant woman at a WIC clinic in Virginia (ve...

Pregnant woman at a WIC clinic in Virginia (vertically mirrored image). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You may be wondering whether you can tell if you are going to get gestational diabetes, and you want to know so you can get started on trying to manage it.  That is important, and I completely understand why you want to know what the general gestational diabetes symptoms are so you can prepare.  Isn’t that how we are as moms, busy and yet prepared?  We know it may be a problem – anywhere from 5 – 15% of women develop gestational diabetes, and it’s something we want to avoid.  But even if we can’t avoid it, we are going to do what we can to get ready and understand what is coming.

But, you may not realize that gestational diabetes symptoms are very similar to what you normally feel during pregnancy.  The symptoms of diabetes are things like increased thirst and increased urination.  What pregnant woman is not a little more thirsty, and feeling like she needs to urinate a little more often?  As the baby grows larger, and sits on your bladder, increased urination becomes a fact of life, especially at night.  I sometimes think that the last 3 months of pregnancy when you can barely sleep the whole night through is just a preparation for the birth.  Another symptom of diabetes in general is that you may have increased hunger or weight loss.  I don’t suppose that accounts for cravings, but you typically do have increased hunger while you’re pregnant.  As you can see, gestational diabetes symptoms are a normal part of pregnancy.

Because there are no specific gestational diabetes symptoms, your Doctor will test you between weeks 24 and 28.

Because there are a large percentage of women, ( about one in 10) who develop gestational diabetes, it is fairly routine for your Dr. to check you during that time to make sure that you haven’t developed the disease.  Gestational diabetes is not necessarily a huge risk to a mom, but it does tend to cause a lot of problems for the baby if not controlled.  I know it may be disheartening to learn that you can’t really avoid gestational diabetes, and that there really are no gestational diabetes symptoms, but the thing that you can do is to control your intake and your blood sugars while you’re pregnant.

Aside from gestational diabetes symptoms, there are some risk factors that put you at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes during your pregnancy.  If you have a family history of diabetes or you have had a previous pregnancy with gestational diabetes, your risk is higher and your Dr. may check you earlier in your pregnancy to determine if you have developed the disease.  Some other risk factors include:

  • being over the age of 25 when you have your 1st pregnancy
  • family history of diabetes
  • having had a baby that was over 9 pounds at birth
  • having sugar in your urine at a doctor’s visit during pregnancy
  • high blood pressure
  • being overweight at the onset of pregnancy

So aside from the gestational diabetes symptoms, these risk factors mean your Dr. may check you earlier during pregnancy.  If a doctor is going to check you earlier, they usually do the glucose tolerance test around week 14.  While that’s not set in stone, that is the general guideline.

Now that you learned a little more about what gestational diabetes symptoms are, if you’re interested in learning more about gestational diabetes, please sign up for our e-mail list by filling in the form below.

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Gestational Diabetes Meal: Shape Up Your Plate

When you are planning out your gestational diabetes meal, creating a healthy yet well balanced meal is one of the most important parts of your process.

I am blogging about a gestational diabetes meal as part of National Nutrition Month, you can learn more at the Academy Of Nutrition and Dietetics website – http://www.eatright.org/nnm/ 

Gestational diabetes is a short term issue but can lead to long term problems because many women who have gestational diabetes will go on to develop type 2 diabetes.  Keeping your meals in check throughout your pregnancy will lower your stress as well as improve your long term health if you keep eating the healthy way you learn during pregnancy.

One of the priorities for you, your unborn child and your doctor is to manage your blood sugars through what you eat at a gestational diabetes meal, medication and exercise.  Many women find that part of that management means some foods are limited based on their bodies and hormones.  Every woman’s body is unique and may react differently to the same foods.  But the foods that we are talking about when it comes to controlling your blood sugars are mainly carbohydrates.

What are carbohydrates and how do they affect your gestational diabetes meal?

Carbohydrates are the component of food that breaks down into glucose in your digestive system (stomach) and is absorbed into your blood stream as glucose.  They are part of a lot of foods, and can be composed of simple to complex molecules.  It is not that you should avoid carbohydrate – you need some of it!  But certain types of carbohydrate are going to cause your blood sugar to increase quickly while some are absorbed more slowly and lead to a lower peak in your glucose level.

Take for example, simple sugar.  The white stuff.  Or honey, which is concentrated sugar.  This will be absorbed quickly by your body and cause a spike in your blood sugar.  Because your body, as a gestational diabetic, does not handle the increase as well as someone who does not have diabetes, you will find that your sugar may stay high.  I know that many women avoid sweeteners during pregnancy, and that is your choice.  But consider that you really should avoid simple sugar unless it is part of a combined gestational diabetes meal that has protein and fat.

Better carbohydrate choices are going to be multi-grain foods and items that have a lot of fiber and are less processed.  Fruits instead of fruit juice.  The fiber slows the absorption of the food and allows your body to respond a little slower, which is good.  Eating whole grain pasta or wild rice instead of plain white rice is a good choice.  Whole grain wheat breads (make sure it has 2-3 gm of fiber per slice) make a much better choice than a slice of white bread.  Your body can usually break down white bread almost as quickly as simple sugar, and should be exchanged for whole grains in a gestational diabetes meal.

Portion sizes of the carbohydrate foods are very important, and most of us can underestimate our portion sizes when creating a gestational diabetes meal plate.  I recommend that you use a scale and weigh your food until you have a better awareness of how much is supposed to be a portion.  Usually – it’s about 1/3 cup on rice, and that is cooked rice – but it’s not very much!  Weigh out your cereal – a whole grain or bran type cereal – and see how big the bowl looks compared to the serving!  Add milk to it and you are adding more carbohydrate so watch the portion on that as well.

Shaping Up Your Gestational Diabetes Meal As a Complete Plan

So, controlling the amount of carbohydrate is tantamount to good blood sugar control for all of the gestational diabetes meal plans that you use.  I want to state again that complete avoidance of carbohydrate is not the answer.  You can eat a low carbohydrate diet, and by that I mean even as low as 30 gm of carbohydrate at meals, but you still have to eat some.  You and your baby need it, and not eating it at a gestational diabetes meal would be detrimental.

But you can help your body to process that carbohydrate more slowly by eating combined meals.  A “shaped up plate” would be one that has protein and fat foods on it as well.  So, you may find that you can eat 1/2 a sandwich with a good helping of meat and some mayonnaise for lunch and your blood sugar is under 130 at your 1 hour check.  Add some vegetables to that meal, maybe raw vegetables with a light ranch dip, and you have a good meal to start with.  You would probably not want to add chips to the gestational diabetes meal, but you could add another ounce of meat to your sandwich or create a nice side salad and have a full meal.  Some women even find that they can tolerate peanut butter and crackers for their evening snack and have a good blood sugar in the morning.

I think it’s important to realize that there are foods that will raise your blood sugars, and you need to eat some amounts of them at most of your gestational diabetes meal.  But combining them with protein and fat foods make them absorb slower and allow your body the chance to respond at it’s adjusted pace of insulin production.  For a gestational diabetic meal, you can have a healthy plate with a good portion of vegetables (green, orange or yellow) and some protein that will make a well rounded meal and keep you under control.

Other things affect your blood sugars, and you should be aware of them so you can note them in your blood sugar logs.  If you have a lot of stress, hormones that are released in your body can increase your blood sugar levels.  While you will never get your stress to zero, finding a way to reduce the amount of stress that you have is a priority.  The time of day can also play a big part in your blood sugars, as fasting blood sugars can be hard to control (but manageable with the adjustments of night time snacks) and hormones from your placenta may be released and cause an increase as well.  This is a big part of why every woman is going to be a little different when it comes to controlling your blood sugars.

Finally, exercise will help you keep your blood sugars down!  Something as simple as a walk right after you eat for 20 minutes will bring down your blood sugar levels because your body uses the sugar for energy.  It’s like a shot of insulin without the shot!

Consider your weight gain and the baby’s growth as two other important factors to determine if you are meeting your needs with what you eat at a gestational diabetes meal.  If you are in need of more information about how to follow a gestational diabetes diet meal plan, you can check out our meal plans – go there now.