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Need some good resources for managing gestational diabetes

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Initial post: Jun 21, 2008 8:57:20 PM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
I am 30 weeks pregnant with my second child, and I was just diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with the carb counting, meal planning, making sure I test my blood glucose levels at the right time, etc... I'm sure it will get easier as time goes on, but I think it might help to have some info. handy to help with meal planning and strategies for maintaining my condition through diet and exercise. I was going to purchase a book about gestational diabetes published by the American Diabetes Association (figured they would have the best info), but the reviews were terrible... Just wondering if anyone could offer a suggestion as to what books would be helpful. Thanks!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2008 9:09:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 21, 2008 9:22:58 PM PDT
Have you tried your local library. You get to check out those for free. ;) That and reference librarians can find anything.
I'm wondering why they didn't send you to a registered dietician to help you plan your meals. Ask your Dr. about that ASAP. And ask him/her to direct you to some reference materials, support groups, etc. They may know what's available in your area.

I don't know where in PA you're located but here.

If there is ever anything you are concerned about or don't understand talk to your Dr or nurse. If you still are unsure, ask again until they have given a satisfactory answer. It's your body and your baby, only you know how you feel. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2008 9:17:32 PM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
Thanks for the advice; the library would be a good place to start... I did have an appointment with a nurse and a dietician, which was helpful, but I just want some additional info... I have a prenatal appt. on Tuesday, and I plan on asking my dr. for some additional resources/materials.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2008 9:54:52 PM PDT
Okay, I can only approach this sort of. There are good books on the subject. I have Lupus, and my pregnancy was high risk (I had problems, and they thought I would end up with gestational diabetes .. I did not, but I did attack my kidneys, lungs, heart ... you know, fun stuff). Anyhow ... here is the thing ... they had me try to do the diet anyhow since I was at high risk of developing it.

I craved things I could NOT have. Simple fact. I didn't keep anything in the house I could not have. That meant, the household was on the diet with me, since cravings make it hard not to eat those things if they are readily available. That helped a LOT.

Keep a daily chart of what you can have. Fill it in as you eat. If you are being advised (like I was) to eat particular things, have them on your chart, and check them off as you eat them. Keep to the plan (dietary), and any limitations or requirements ... treat them as extremely important.

One other thing ... my insurance company has nurses who work for them. I called my insurance company, and got a number for a nurse I could call 24/7. If in doubt, she got a call. That helped a LOT also. This may not be available to you, but it is worth looking into. Or, try calling the local hospital to see if they offer a similar service (or what your OBGYN's office offers, etc).

Here is how I feel about this. This is your child, and it is most important to you that you both come out of this healthy. The doctors and nurses do not have to live with either of you after the fact. It is up to you to be on top of this. And, I agree with Danielle, do not give up till you have the answers you both need and want.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2008 10:04:53 PM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
Thanks, Jane! The daily chart sounds like a great idea... I'm so focused on how many carbs I can have, that I tend to forget about the other foods I should be eating. Also, I too am craving everything that I can't have! That's where things get tricky... with my husband and my almost 4 year old son in the house I'm trying to prepare meals that will work for all of us. (without limiting any foods for my son)

My main concern is this baby, and if the doctor tells me that I have to walk on my hands for the rest of this pregnancy, then that's what I will!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 21, 2008 11:30:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 21, 2008 11:33:37 PM PDT
Intrepid says:
The Joslin Clinic (now part of Harvard's Medical System) has been highly regarded in Diabetes education and care. They have an excellent paperback and a decent website.

The first edition of the "Joslin Guide" helped thousands of people with Diabetes understand and manage their health (newly revised ed avail). Believe in them so much I looked it up for you - It is available from Amazon for next to nothing (used):
The Joslin Guide to Diabetes: A Program for Managing Your Treatment (Fireside Books (Fireside))

Diabetes recipe book from Joslin:
The Joslin Diabetes Quick and Easy Cookbook: 200 Recipes for 1 to 4 People

There is also another book specifically about Gestational DM:
Diabetes And Pregnancy - What To Expect, 4th Edition


Note that I am not affiliated with Joslin Clinic but highly respect their efforts to help people living with diabetes. Hope this helps you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 2:10:00 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 22, 2008 6:13:21 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 4:08:30 AM PDT
Intrepid says:
We all hope it will be 10 weeks. However, please remember that one cannot assume that beforehand. Sometimes pregnancy "uncovers" latent diabetes and glycemic control does not return to normal postpartum.

Weight may need to be especially brought back to normal in the weeks after delivery. Eating habits may need to be modified lifelong to be able to not need medications. There are reasonable substitutes and portion size can help a lot with cravings.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 10:41:29 AM PDT
PF says:
My mom swears by a website called Sparkpeople because it has a really good food diary that lets you know how close you are to meeting or exceeding goals in all the food groups. Weight loss is the primary focus of the site, but it's got really good nutrition software running the food diaries. You don't have to rely on your own memory about how many protein grams, fiber, etc you need. The daily food logs show that for you.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 12:46:31 PM PDT
K, when I was pregnant, I made a daily list with little squares to mark off my carbs, protein, dairy, etc. to make sure I didn't go over OR under in any of the categories. I made these on my own computer, printed them out 4 to a sheet & carried the current one in my purse to work, out to eat, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 1:51:17 PM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
Thanks for the suggestion... keeping a chart seems to be the way to go. Like I said before, it's just going to take some time, especially remembering how many carbs are in certain foods... right now I'm constantly checking labels, so I'm going to make a list of foods I use on regular basis (listed w/ grams of carbohydrate) and keep it on the fridge.
So far, my glucose levels have been right on target (it's only been 5 days, but it's a start)... the key has been making sure I eat about every 3 hours (sticking to the meal plan), and I'm also walking for 30 minutes every day (as well as working in the garden and playing outdoors w/ my son). Also, dealing w/ pregnancy cravings has been a challenge, but I discovered that I can have a "fun size" twix or milky way as a snack! (almost feels like "cheating"
Anyway, I just want to thank those of you who have replied and offered suggestions... it has been very helpful! I realize that this might be something that lasts beyond my pregnancy (I am at risk for developing type 2 diabetes due to PCOS and family history)... but I'm choosing to focus on the next 10 weeks and not worry about the future... I plan to continue a healthy diet, exercise and maintain a healthy weight after this baby is born.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 2:10:19 PM PDT
K. , You can probably find more info on google then the library. Just go tp goolge and entr the nain info, Most likey the gestatiol diabits, And you will receive a wealth of informaton. Tjhreads are a gerat place for info and help, But none opf us are doctors, And while all info is greatly appreciated, Every case is uniqe. Try out google, Spent some time researching the info. Keep what you want.\/ need, And dicard the rest. Hope this helps, We will lift you up in prayer for both your pregnancy to go well, And for peace of mind as well. God Bless, Don

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 2:47:51 PM PDT
catsnkittens says:
I am diabetic and went through three successful (though not without some problems) pregnancies. Just watch what you eat, exercise as you are able, read every label, and try not to get stressed. Stress makes your blood sugars go up. So relax and try to enjoy the next 10 weeks. I hope they go quickly for you. None of my children have developed diabetes so don't think that will necessarily happen to yours. I am sure there is always someone on line who you can talk to for support and encouragement. Babies born to diabetics tend to be larger so it is good to watch your calories also.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 3:06:39 PM PDT
Intrepid says:
FYI Some of us are doctors. Some web sites are good. But others are glorified blogs by people with little training or sly marketing sites offering nice sounding advice that may have no double blind tested validation - included in that is pretty much all of Homeopathy. Many sites will incorporate stardard good advice (e.g. healthy living habits) into their dubious claims - so it becomes more difficult to discern the bad advice within the larger site.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 5:01:36 PM PDT
This will help:

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 6:59:27 PM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
Don, please re-read my original post... I wasn't asking for medical advice... Since Amazon sells books, my question was about which books might be helpful. People have replied with some great suggestions and advice... they're trying to be helpful and offer encouragement, which I greatly appreciate. As far as researching the topic on the internet, I have already done so (only using reputable sites for info)... I'm just looking to supplement the information that I have already received.
Thank you for for your prayers!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 7:00:23 PM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
Thanks, Polly!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 22, 2008 7:10:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 22, 2008 7:11:21 PM PDT
Katie Kate says:
If you need live answers as well, you can always refer to a pharmacist. They are very well trained in diabetes management and very accessable. Many pharmacies are open 24 hours. If you find a poopy pharmacist, call again at a different time or to a different pharmacy and find one willing to chat. They can be a great source of info. Don't be deterred by younger pharmacists, most are Dr.'s of pharmacy and are very current on their info since they just got done with school.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 8:19:37 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Jun 24, 2008 7:56:01 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 8:27:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2008 9:25:04 AM PDT
You can get free publications from the National Institutes of Health. Also, there is good information online from the Mayo Clinic.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 9:03:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 23, 2008 9:06:08 AM PDT
K. Sheerer,

I realize that this isn't a book recommendation but I thought my story might offer a little moral support.

I developed a mild gestational diabetes with my third pregnancy. I was able to control it adequately through diet and exercise, rather than requiring insulin. I also did not need to follow my blood glucose levels throughout the day as you state you do, which can be intimidating. Please try not to get too stressed out over this, and speak with your doctor or nurse about any concerns. My experience was quite a while ago and treatments do differ for each individual and location.

Initially, I too found it difficult to sort through all the information and follow the diet recommendations. I received material from my physician that helped me make acceptable selections and choices. I know that some offices schedule an appointment with a diabetic teaching specialist, and they would also have a lot of helpful materials. One thing I found amazing was that, with all the meals and snacks, I had a hard time eating all the food recommended throughout the day. I had always thought a "diet" meant that I would be hungry. I also found that, with time, it became much easier to avoid those sugary foods I'd initially craved, which I hope will also be the case for you. I, like you, had a husband and 3 year old. I was able to cook meals that were healthful for all of us without "depriving" them of anything. If there were foods that I couldn't or shouldn't eat, they, (mainly my husband), could either substitute them with something else, or buy individual servings. With the motivation of my baby's health to consider, I found the adjustment much easier to make and maintain. In retrospect, I found the ADA diet to be a very healthful diet to follow, even if you aren't at risk. And, fortunately, I have not had any problems since my healthy little boy was born over 18 years ago.

I wish you well!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 9:12:29 AM PDT
braiding one says:
It sounds like you're doing great! Try not to think so much about what you "can't have," and think about why you want to choose healthy foods. The best way to eat for GDM is actually the best way for every pregnant woman to eat. Since we come from nature, our bodies are meant to eat food the way it comes in nature. And, honestly, when you walk into a grocery store, usually only the foods around the perimeter are the way they came in nature: vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, dry beans. Whole gains like oatmeal, brown rice, 100% whole wheat bread, Uncle Sam's cereal ( with flax seed for Omega 3's for baby's brain and to alleviate constipation), Ezekiel Bread products, etc. are also good choices. Everything else has been processed in some way, and our body chemistries convert the processed foods more readily to sugar. For example, an apple is better than apple sauce, and far better than apple juice because the apple is the way nature gives it to us. The pulp and peelings are fiber that slows how fast the sugar in the apple gets into your blood. And when you get down to juice, there's no fiber left, so that sugar can go right to your blood and make your sugar high.
Honestly, I know pregnancy cravings can be tough, but this is the time you can make healthy changes. The key for eating with GDM is to have something with protein (meat, fish, poultry, egg, beans, peanut butter, a few nuts, dairy) and something with fiber (veg, fruit, whole grain carb in reasonable portion) every time you eat.
You're right, there are not many decent resources out there. I'm hoping to write one soon. A book that lists Glycemic Index of foods will help you with better food choices (low glycemic foods are better.) Be sure to work with your dietitian and OB provider because it's generally important not to lose weight while you're keeping your blood sugars in check. Good luck!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 10:40:47 AM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
Thanks for sharing your story, Sunshine! It helps to hear from someone who has been through this before! I met with a nurse and a dietician/ certified diabetes educator last week. They want me to track my blood glucose levels (4 times a day; first thing in the morning and 2 hrs after every meal) and write out my meal plan for the next two weeks... if I'm doing well, I can cut back to testing twice a day. I have a prenatal appt. tomorrow afternoon, so I will be asking my OB for additional materials/ info.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 10:47:25 AM PDT
K. Sheerer says:
Thanks for the encouragement, "braiding one"! I have been following a lot of what you recommended, so I'm glad to see that I'm on the right track... I'm making sure to include protein and fiber in every meal, and I'm using whole wheat/ whole grain products. One of my favorite bedtime snacks has been an apple with peanut butter, and I notice that my fasting blood glucose the following morning is always lower after snacks like that. Thanks for the suggestions!

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 23, 2008 1:10:08 PM PDT
diasha78 says:
I also had mild gestational diabetes when I was pregnant. I was able to affectively control it with diet and did not have to take insulin in any form. Looks like you are also able to do that. I also had to check my blood sugar level 4 times a day. One thing I had noticed is that when I ate home cooked food I was able to eat good balanced meals and my blood sugar level was in the normal range. But if I ate out, no matter what I ordered my blood sugar level was always way too high. So, I would recommend sticking to home cooked meals. And don't stress about this too much, you only have 10 weeks left. As long as you have not gained too much weight during your pregnancy and your baby is not too big (your doctor should be able to tell you about both of these, they know the approximate baby weight from the ultrasound) you have nothing to worry about.
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Discussion in:  Gold Box forum
Participants:  20
Total posts:  37
Initial post:  Jun 21, 2008
Latest post:  Nov 28, 2012

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