ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Health»
  • Diseases, Disorders & Conditions

Coping with Gestational Diabetes

Updated on February 5, 2017
blood glucose meter
blood glucose meter

I have Gestational Diabetes - what now?

Being told that you have Gestational Diabetes comes as a shock to any pregnant mother. I remember the day I was diagnosed with this condition. I had been to see my midwife for a regular check up at around 28 weeks of pregnancy. It was my fourth pregnancy and I was 39 years old. I had been feeling fine - I had aches, but being my fourth pregnancy I didn't find this unusual. I gave my usual urine test strip to the midwife and she did not look too pleased - there was sugar in my urine which concerned her. She told me that she was concerned about diabetes and sent me off to the pathology laboratory to have a glucose tolerance test. Even then, I was in denial - I never really believed there was a problem. I felt fine so there surely could be nothing wrong. The problem with this type of diabetes is that it is often silent - you don't feel unwell or sick so it can really catch you by surprise when you are diagnosed with it. When she called me and told me that I had gestational diabetes I felt my world was rocked. I cried and felt very disappointed in myself. I felt that my body had let me down in a big way. What I didn't realize at the time was that gestational diabetes can hit even the most healthy, fit women. It is not necessarily a reflection of poor eating or obesity. It has to do with your body coping with pregnancy and being unable to get the glucose to the body's cells. The good news is that this type of diabetes is treatable and usually goes away after pregnancy.


Am I at risk of developing gestational diabetes?

There are certain people who have a higher risk of developing this condition during pregnancy.

The High Risk Factors are:

  • Women from certain ethnic groups including Melanesian, Indian, Chinese, Torres Strait Islanders, Polynesian, Indigenous Australians, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern women.
  • Women who are over 30 years of age.
  • Women who are obese or overweight.
  • Women who have a history of Type 2 diabetes in their family line.
  • A woman who has previously had gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
  • You have sugar in your urine.

Managing diabetes during pregnancy.

I was fortunate to have a very thorough midwife. She organised for me to receive treatment at the local hospital and to see specialists who could help me to manage my diabetes. It was a bit overwhelming receiving so much information and instruction all at once, but I had tremendous support from my family and the health system. The following suggestions should help you to begin to manage your diabetes.

  • Monitor your glucose or blood sugar levels. This is done by using a glucose meter and strips to measure your levels. Ask for a demonstration on how to accurately measure yourself. It can be a bit daunting doing this up to five times a day but it will help you to plan your eating and snacks thoroughly and to keep your glucose levels stabilized.

  • Diet is very important in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. I was referred to a dietician and this was very helpful with planning a menu and knowing what portion control to exercise. Make sure you eat the right foods regularly - avoid sugary treats like cakes, candy and fizzy sodas and make sure you never skip a meal as this can lead to a sugar low which will leave you feeling shaky and unwell. A diet that is full of fresh vegetables, protein and grainy carbohydrates is good for you.

The American Diabetes Association Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook
The American Diabetes Association Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook

Delicious meals for diabetics - this book includes all the favourite recipes you think you have to give up.

  • Exercise is also good for maintaining stable glucose levels. Moderate exercise helps your body to process glucose. A half hour walk or swim is good exercise if you are pregnant as it does not place too much strain on your body.
  • Medication/Insulin - Initially your healthcare provider may suggest you control your diabetes with diet and exercise. This happened to me and I was very diligent with it, so I was very disappointed when it did not help. Again I felt my body had let me down. Do not feel upset if you need medication or insulin to help control your sugar levels. There is nothing wrong in using them and your baby will be safe. It may be safer to take medication as your baby will not grow too large as a result of too much glucose, causing other problems for you at birth. I participated in a trial and so was chosen to use insulin as my method of treatment. A health care worker will show you how to administer your insulin. Insulin is usually the preferred choice for treating diabetes as it controls sugars better than oral medications, however there are other options as well. Metformin is also used and safe during pregnancy (also known as Glucophage,Diformin, Glumetza and Glycon).
  • More Frequent Check ups - You will probably have more check ups with gestational diabetes as the baby's growth and weight are carefully monitored. This is because your extra glucose is passed on to your baby and we all know that too much sugar makes one gain weight. This leads to bigger babies at birth. This may also mean extra prenatal scans to accurately assess baby's weight and size.
  • Log your Results - You will need to keep a log of your sugar level results - your healthcare provider will show you how to read them and adjust your levels of insulin accordingly. My experience was that after a while I had to increase my insulin levels as I got used to certain levels. Do not worry or stress about this - it is possible for this to happen and won't harm you if more insulin is needed. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor.
  • Look after yourself - Make sure you look after yourself and have time to relax. Taking care of your feet is important as diabetes can affect your feet. Get a soothing foot rub every day from your partner. Take time to plan each evening for the next day so that you are not caught unprepared. Have an idea of what you will eat and an approximate time that you will eat your meals. Keep some handy, healthy snacks like a nutritious muesli bar or protein bar in your handbag for emergencies and moments when your plans change at the last minute. I suggest that you also keep a small bag of jelly beans in your purse in case you have a sugar low and feel strange. This is a quick fix for these moments. Carry your insulin kit with you at all times so you are prepared. When eating out, select meals that don't have huge portions of carbohydrate. Carbs are important for you when you have diabetes, but too much of any carb will send you blood sugars up. The idea is to keep your blood sugars as constant as possible and we do this by learning portion control.

Having gestational diabetes is challenging but it is not the end of the world. It is for a season. I found that adapting my habits was easier than I thought because my baby's health and welfare was uppermost in my mind. You don't have to feel restricted and deprived as there are ways to add foods to your diet that are tasty and healthy.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)