The last time I shared about Gestational Diabetes (at the beginning of June), I mentioned being able to take a two day gap between each of my blood sugar testing days.
Testing at that rate lasted for about two weeks, then I had another phone appointment with the Endocrinologist – who was again very impressed with my regular sugar levels, and discharged me from the clinic.
He explained that the way GD generally takes place is a result of hormones in the placenta, and as the placenta grows the intolerance to sugars can also increase. As my numbers have basically plateaued right from the beginning he said he could see that my tolerance was stable. Once the placenta reaches full size, which is apparently 35 weeks, the risk of reacting more to sugars also disappears and you will be stable at where you are at.
So the doctor told me to carry on with the food plan as I had been doing (with the regular eating intervals and steady carb intake), but I no longer had to do any testing and shouldn’t be concerned about any changes.
He also added that within a few hours of delivering the placenta after the baby arrives I will have a finger prick blood sugar test and should be back to normal. They’ll get me to do a glucose test like I did to diagnose the diabetes earlier in pregnancy a few hours later just to confirm that I’m in the all clear. The baby will have to have her blood sugar checked a couple times on the first day too just to make sure she is processing everything as she should be, but there’s no expectation that she shouldn’t, and if she isn’t then it’ll likely correct itself within a day or two.
My typical food day:
9am: Breakfast – 1 slice of toast with butter and peanut butter (~15g), 1 yoghurt drink (7g).
11am: AM Snack – either fresh fruit or a pressed fruit pouch (baby food?) (15g).
1pm: Lunch – ham, cheese, lettuce and cucumber sandwich with olive oil mayo (~22g), kit kat bites (~12g), ice pop (10g).
3.30pm: PM Snack – popcorn or a peanut snack bar or a Starbucks cookie dough cake pop with an iced tea with a splash of peach juice (~15g).
6pm: Dinner – Varies a lot more. Pasta, potatoes and rice work well in moderation. Have to avoid sugary sauces. (45g)
10pm: Bedtime snack – 1 Cheese string, 1 fruit yoghurt, 2 digestive biscuits (~30g).
It’s become a little repetitive – especially breakfast. I’m very much looking forward to a bowl of cereal!
One thing I’ve found I’m having a lot more of in the warmer weather is diet drinks. I usually drink more lemonade or icy Starbucks drinks when it gets hot out but it turns out these things are FULL of sugar (no real surprise there). Whereas diet drinks generally have 0 carbs and don’t affect my blood sugar levels, and I’ve recently found you can get both Diet Dr Pepper, and Caffeine Free Coke Zero! Winner!
I have also discovered I can have half a nut croissant as a snack – so an almond or pistachio croissant is back on the occasional treat menu! The downside to this is that we’re tending to go to less independent places as they don’t have nutritional information available, whereas the big stores that mass produce all their product readily display the nutritional values on their apps/websites so I can look and see what works within my parameters and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly.
Only a few more weeks to go following these rules now! It’ll be interesting to see if I keep to any of the habits after the baby comes. I asked the nutritionist on one of the phone calls if this was a sustainable healthy diet or only recommended for those with GD and she said that the strictness on the carbs is purely for the GD patients to ensure they’re getting the right amount, but the regularity of meals is something that she sticks to and recommends generally. She said we shouldn’t ever be in a position where we’re hungry, and instead eat smaller amounts more regularly. I will certainly be having a few weeks where I eat all the foods I’ve been missing, but we’ll see what happens after that…