I think most women, when they first hear that they've been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes feel a mixture of emotions. Shock. Fear. Guilt. Overwhelmed & out of their comfort zone. I know I felt all of these. The first 48 hours I was a complete mess and it was all I could think about. The first week was definitely the hardest and now that I am two weeks into this I wanted to share some advice on how to cope with those first 14 days.
I am someone that has to research everything. Google is my best friend. This was the first place I went to when I was diagnosed. You have to weed through the information as some of it is more suited to a type 1 or type 2 diabetic but if you look for it, the information is there. I ended up finding a great website with an attached Facebook page and it is like my bible now! Find forums with other women going through this. Ask questions! They've all been there, post diagnosis, terrified and not knowing which way to turn.
Understand your food
I had no clue about what was in different types of food before this. Honest truth? I had no idea that carbs turned to sugar in your blood stream! Therefore not only do you need to cut sugar out your diet but you also need to limit the amount of carbs. Don't cut them out completely because that creates a whole other host of problems. We all need carbohydrates for energy, now it's just about choosing the right ones and the right amount. I've completed changed the way I feed my family since being diagnosed.
Test out different meals
Don't be afraid to try different things. A lot of women cannot tolerate carbohydrates in the morning but can have them later in the day. Try toast with peanut butter for breakfast and if your readings are too high then the next day try something with less carbohydrates. My go-to breakfast now is plain yoghurt with apple & nuts. Each woman's tolerance is different though and it also changes as your hormones change in pregnancy so what works one day might not work the next. It's a process of trial and error.
Snack Snack Snack
The worst thing you could do now is to miss meals or leave too big a gap between eating one meal and the next. Snacking is now not only allowed but it's advised. 3 meals and 3 snacks a day is a good place to start. One of those snacks being just before bedtime to help with your fasting levels. I tend to try and eat every 2.5 hours now. Little and often is better than 3 massive meals a day.
Pair your food.
If I could only give you one piece of advice this would be it. Pair your food! Mix your carbohydrates with as much protein as you want. Eat the spaghetti Bolognese but have more mince than spaghetti and load it with cheese! The protein helps slow the release of glucose into your bloodstream. Use peanut butter to dip your apple slices into. Fill your wholegrain wrap with mayonnaise, ham, cheese and salad - (My lunch everyday for the past 10 days!) Pairing your food opens up so many more options to you.
I am the first one to complain that this is completely unfair. The one time in our life when we're meant to be able to eat whatever we want and now we're restricted beyond belief. I have moments during the day where all I want to do is eat a packet of cookies or a snickers bar. It's not forever though and that's what I've come to accept. At most I have ten weeks left, less if they induce me early and then I can eat whatever I want at whatever time I want. I've already made a list of food that I've asked Anthony to bring into the hospital! Accept that this is just a small period of time and the reward at the end of it will be totally worth all the sacrifice.