I was diagnosed with GD two weeks ago, and yes, it’s scary to hear this news! I am now seeing my endocrinologist and feel much better about it since I feel like I have some control over what’s happening with my body.
First, I would try to find a specialist who can see you sooner. Same thing happened to me. The endo my OB told me to call couldn’t see me for another 3 weeks and I felt uncomfortacle going that long without taking care of the diabetes. I called my OB, explained the situation, got the name and number of a new doc, and got an appointment there the next day.
Both my OB and endo told me to “eat healthy and not restrict myself too much since baby needs nutrients”. Gee, thanks for being so specific! I know, though, that a lot of ladies with GD are sent to see a dietician who will develop an individual diet plan. After I nudged him, my endo at least narrowed it down to no sugar, easy on the carbs (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes), lots of protein and healthy fats. Things I learned in my online research helped me put together my own plan. One thing you will definitely have to do is check your blood sugar 4 times a day; first thing in the morning, after breakfast, after lunch, and after dinner. This way, you will see if what you eat is driving your numbers up or not.
Some advice for now:
Eat 3 small meals each day, and 4 snacks. One snack should be right before bedtime. Eat some carbs with every meal, but much less that you might have before. Choose whole grains over white bread or pasta. Always eat carbs in combination with protein. Try to eat your meals and snacks around the same time every day. Never skip a meal or snack.
There are a lot of meal and snack suggestions for GD online. Just google it to get some ideas. Google “foods with low glycemic index”. Those don’t drive up your blood sugar. Once you have your blood sugar meter, write down what you ate along with your glucose number. This way you can see if your body reacts to certain foods with a spike in blood glucose (BG). I, for example, had to cut out oatmeal even though it has a great glycemic index.
You can eat as many veggies as you like, except for corn, peas, and beans. The latter count as carbs. Milk counts as a carb because of the lactose; experiment with what it does to your BG numbers. Cheese is fine, have as much as you want. Fruit is high in sugar, eat no more than 2 pieces a day. Some fruit is better than others, e.g. apples yay, bananas nay.
Your body is more insulin resistant in the morning than later in the day. Eat less carbs before lunch than later in the day.
When you limit your carbs, you cut out a lot of calories. Make sure you are eating enough calories during the day. Now is the time for full fat dairy and all the nuts, peanut butter and full-fat salad dressings that you want.
The further along you get in pregnancy, the more insulin resitant your body gets. Your BG numbers will go up in time, no matter how well you manage your diet. Being on insulin sucks, but it’s better than baby getting too much blood sugar from you. Your OB might monitor you more closely to check for the size of the baby and for any complications.
Well managed gestational diabetes results in healthy babies that are not oversized. Take good care of yourself. Most importantly, don’t blame yourself! I don’t have any of the risk factors for GD other than being older than 25. You didn’t get this because of something you did or didn’t do. Your hormones caused this. My endo thinks there was someone in my family with undiagnosed diabetes, because it seems to be mostly genetic.
Finally, two positive aspects: You will probably get at least one more ultrasound that you otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, yay! Women with well managed GD usually gain less weight in pregnancy and get back to their pre-pregnancy weight faster than women who never got GD in the first place.