I was 19 weeks pregnant when I had the “big” ultrasound with my first son. Of course my husband and I were so excited and nervous at the same time. To be honest, I don’t think that Niagara Falls compared to the amount of sweat that was dripping off our hands in that appointment! The sonographer said that everything looked good (not that I could tell the head from the heart, please don’t judge me ) and that my doctor would talk to me about the ultrasound at my appointment next week.
The following week came and I was excited to hear what the doc had to say about my beautiful boy. She said that his body measurements looked great but she was concerned about the size of his belly. While the majority of his body was measuring in the 45 percentile his tummy was measuring in the 90 percentile indicating that I might have gestational diabetes.
Diabetes? I asked her how can that happen? I wasn’t diabetic before I got pregnant. She said that although I didn’t have diabetes before I was pregnant, the pregnancy hormones mixed with my strong family history of diabetes increased my chances of having gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM).
Huh? I thought there were only two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 but there’s another form? And, how does this type of diabetes function?
Gestational diabetes is specific to pregnant women. The additional hormones from the placenta make it difficult for the mother’s insulin to work normally. Therefore, the amount of glucose that the baby gets from the mother causes the baby to produce too much insulin which increases the size of the baby and can cause labor complications.
Ok, so now what do I do? How do I fix this? My doctor had me take the wretched orange glucose “drink” (I say drink in quotations because it looks like orange soda but tastes like liquid hell) and then I just had to wait for my results.
Turns out the test was positive and I, in fact, had gestational diabetes. The good news, gestational diabetes is manageable. So, I combined by doctor’s advice with a little of my own research and together we came up with a plan that would work for me. I needed to know that I was doing everything in my power to keep my baby healthy.
Here are a few things that can help if you find yourself in the GDM boat.
- Control your diet. While you’re pregnant you should only be consuming about 300 more calories than you were prior to getting pregnant, so put down the double stuffed Oreos! Carbohydrates should makes up a little less than 50 percent of your diet so steer clear of pastas, breads and my personal favorite potatoes/french fries.
- Eat your fruits and veggies. Not a big fan? Try blending them into smoothies. Here’s a great site for recipes.
- Increase your exercise. Believe me I know what it’s like to have no motivation to exercise while pregnant. Allow me to share my motivation with you….birthing an 11-pound baby. That thought alone had me running out the door! But it’s important to choose an activity that you enjoy and that you’ll be able to continue through your entire pregnancy. For me, it was swimming and as dorky as it sounds water aerobics, plus you never get hot!
Have you had gestational diabetes? If so, what did you do?
Information regarding gestational diabetes was provided by Dr. James Roth, a board-certified OB/GYN at the Specialty Care Network at Jordan Family Health. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Roth please call, 801.569.1999