What Is Gestational Diabetes?
Basically, Gestational Diabetes is a form a diabetes diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. It affects how your body interacts with sugar and can cause issues with pregnancy and delivery.
While pregnant, your placenta produces a hormone that causes glucose to build up in your blood. Normally, your pancreas would be able to produce enough insulin to handle it. However, if it can’t that’s when you are diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.
The severity of your case also determines whether you can be diet controlled or need additional medication. Currently, I’m controlling my diabetes with diet changes.
On the bright side, it’s called Gestational Diabetes for a reason. It usually goes away after delivering the baby. Yay!
How I Found Out I Had It
When I was about 16 weeks pregnant I got tested for Gestational Diabetes. Normally, you get tested when you’re between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, but since I’d had it with my last pregnancy they wanted me tested early.
I was so nervous about the results, because it’s really not fun to be pregnant and on a diet. Thankfully, my OB called to let me know I’d passed! I can’t tell you how much of a (short-lived) relief that was.
Fast forward to a few weeks later.
I’d switched to a midwife practice and was quickly informed that I’d have to retake the test. Woo hoo. Apparently, I’d been tested too early and GD tends to show up later in pregnancy.
To make a long story short, after two long hours and three blood draws I finished my test.
The next day, I received the lovely news that I’d failed my test and would need to begin seeing a dietician and maternal fetal medicine to monitor my diabetes. My heart was literally broken.
I felt like I’d failed my body and my baby. And also all of my pregnancy cravings were out the window. All with about three more months of pregnancy to go.
How I Manage It
So like I mentioned earlier, my GD is managed by maternal fetal medicine (essentially where high risk pregnancies are seen for extended testing) and a dietician.
I have to take my blood sugar four times a day. One 15 minutes after I wake up, and then two hours after breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Then I have to fax my log to my doctor once a week for them to review.
If my numbers are consistently high, especially my fasting number (right after I wake up), then I will have to be put on insulin shots that I’ll have to give myself one to two times a day in addition to taking my blood sugar. Also, I’ll have to be induced before 39 weeks, so I’m doing everything in my power to avoid that.
I also have to see them once a month for an ultrasound to make sure that baby is growing the way he should and doing well.
Once I hit 36 weeks however, I will be seeing them once a week for an ultrasound and non-stress test. A non-stress test is basically when I get two monitors strapped around my belly to monitor his movement, heartbeat, and contractions if I’m having any. It usually lasts about 20 minutes, however it can be longer if baby isn’t cooperating.
Long story short, if I had to get a pregnancy complication, I guess GD is a great one to have because it’s so manageable, but it still sucks. Thankfully, me and little man have been doing great with a few dietary changes, and physical exercise every now and then. Let me know in the comments if you’ve had GD before and how it affected your pregnancy!