What I have learnt about Gestational Diabetes

one thing that took me by surprise during my pregnancy was being told i had borderline gestational diabetes. i considered myself a healthy, active person, and my body had never really failed me before! basically, because of all the hormones and new stuff happening in my body, i wasn’t as efficient at filtering the sugar so there was excess sugar in my blood, which was then being passed on to my baby. i thankfully could control this by changing my diet, and taking a prick test an hour after each meal, so i was very lucky, but it was still a major adjustment!

paper&pasta gestational diabetes

it’s hard enough just being pregnant and trying to appear with it… i almost went out like this!

not carbs as well?

when I was told I would need to start controlling my diet, i thought, EASY, i’ve never really been that bothered by sugar before, i’ll just go back to being a savoury person. firstly, this does not work when you have; either a tiny sweet toothed person inside you, or pregnancy hormones controlling you! on top of this, i then find out i have to watch my carb intake as “obviously, carbs turn into sugar” what?! do they?! i’ve never dieted before, i had been blessed with a high metabolism, and a very fidgety nature. so suddenly being told i need to check carb portions and change to wholewheat everything, made my task a lot harder! i found out…

– a set of scales in your kitchen is essential, measure everything, 30g for cereal, 50g for dry pasta or rice etc.

-brown rice takes hours to cook and in my opinion never really feels cooked, basmati is a much better option.

-wholewheat pasta can often resemble cardboard, i have found one by Napolina (Wholewheat Mafalda Corta) little rippled rectangles, which is beautiful! (i can only find it in Sainsburys but i’m sure it is sold elsewhere).

-white bread/buns/baps are just out.

-eggs are your friend, they fill you up without giving you a high reading.

-and lastly, check the carb levels in everything, carbs aren’t just the stodgy things, it’s in drinks too!

go careful on the good sugars too!

go careful on the good sugars!

be careful with the good sugars…

the reason my sugars were so high was that i was trying to eat as much ‘good stuff’ as i could… ‘not from concentrate’ juices, lots and lots of fruit, honey and lemon drinks, cereals with added vitamins when i wanted a snack. yea ok, i had also developed a bit of a sweet tooth, so chocolate was fairly big on the agenda, and maybe sometimes ice cream, but i generally had a very good diet. however my body and its needs had changed, so i needed to as-well. i had to wean myself off my morning orange juice (literally had to have a shot glass of it for a while then started to water it down), massively cut down on my fruit intake, (stick to blueberries, raspberries and kiwis, they contain less sugar than say red grapes!) and completely cut out indulgences (if i have had good results and i am still craving sugar in the afternoon i will sometimes allow myself one square of dark chocolate!).

mornings are difficult

i realised all i wanted in the mornings was sweetness. cereal, honey on toast, fruit, orange juice, it woke me up (non coffee or tea drinker), and was such a comfort. but it turns out, that is the worst time to have it. like most gestational diabetes sufferers, mornings are my most sensitive. even a small bowl of plain shredded wheat with light soy milk, both of which have minimal sugar levels in, sent my reading sky high. so even the morning apple was out, and the wholewheat bread with avocado and ham was in, or bacon and eggs… not as comforting! thankfully the afternoons were kinder to me, so as long as it was good sugar, i could have a little treat then, before any of you bring up my photos of fruity mocktails or anything mean!

my birthday lunch, i treated myself with an apple juice!

my birthday lunch, i treated myself with an apple juice!

sugar is mega addictive

so i mentioned weaning myself off orange juice, but i also had to do it in general with my overall sugar dosage. when i managed to cut down on sugar, which took a few weeks of cutting down amounts on a daily basis, i craved it less. WINNER! then you go to a party or go out for a meal, and think to yourself “i’ve been so good, i am going to treat myself with a small amount of chocolate cake” DON’T DO IT!!! introducing a large amount of delicious sugar back into your bloodstream will only make you crave more, and then much more after that, then before you know it you are back where you started, and getting high readings all the time. so once you get to that lovely place where you realise you don’t need sugar, don’t ruin it, think about the health of your lovely little person, or if all else fails, imagine having to give birth to a chubby overweight baby!

if you know someone suffering with GD, the nicest and most helpful thing you can do is to replace the social expected birthday cake or just dessert with some safe but still sweet fruits. it is still a massive treat but won't send the person into a week long guilt and high reading battle! i LOVE my family for doing this for me!

if you know someone suffering with GD, the nicest and most helpful thing you can do is to replace the socially expected birthday cake or dessert with some safe but still sweet fruits. it is still a massive treat but won’t send the person into a week long guilt and high reading battle! i LOVE my family for doing this for me!

the media is a bitch

i do always find, if i’m eating out with others, i am much more likely to fail. whether it is your friend saying “you deserve it”, the fact that everyone else is eating whatever the hell they like, or the way sugar is pushed upon us, you become weaker. my goodness, walking around supermarkets, or town, going to the cinema, or watching tv, the media are constantly telling us we should ‘indulge’, we should ‘treat ourselves’ for whatever reason, we ‘deserve’ it! but why? don’t get me wrong, if all goes well and my sugars go back to normal once i have given birth, i will go back to eating chocolate, and ice cream, pain au chocolat and sweet sweet honey. but i will never think of sugar in the same way again, i will not indulge just because someone thinks i deserve it! as now that actually sounds quite threatening, the fact it will be doing my body more harm than good, and i deserve it, doesn’t sound so appealing.

this post is dedicated to avocados. you have always been there for me, filled me up when i was hungry, always been a comfort, and will never turn on me. thank you avocado, you’re the best.


One thought on “What I have learnt about Gestational Diabetes

  1. Actually Em, are you sure that’s not an avocado up your jumper! I believe there is a book called Avocado Baby! But your blig was brilliant! Well done xxx

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