Pregnancy is an exciting time.
You’re building a baby inside of you. And the most beautiful proof of that is your expanding belly. But there are some things that aren’t so exciting. For example: hemorrhoids, constipation, more gas than Exxon, heartburn, swollen ankles, headaches, leg cramps and those wacky dreams I spoke of earlier.
Read my blogs on natural remedies that can help you get through these pesky problems. If anything concerns you always talk with your healthcare provider. It’s always better to be safe.
Let’s talk about Gestational Diabetes
Pregnancy changes a woman’s metabolism and makes her body resistant to insulin, which can make diabetes show up for the first time. This change is designed to increase the mother’s blood glucose level to make more nutrients available to the baby. Your baby depends on a steady supply of glucose; this is why it’s important to eat frequent, small meals. Gaining too much weight can be a contributing factor. What’s the big deal about Gestational Diabetes? Studies show that it can increase the rate of pregnancy complications as well as cause problems for the baby when it’s born. The good news is, depending on the severity of gestational diabetes; it can be managed with diet and lifestyle alone. Here are some general tips:
- Eat less sugar and sweets.
- Stay away from processed and refined foods
- Decrease simple carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta, cookies, pastries, cakes etc.
- Eat grains like oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, and brown or black rice.
- Increase vegetables and eat low to medium glycemic fruits.
- Increase fibers and whole grains
- Exercise regularly
- Eat more protein
- Limit fruit juices and say NO to sodas
- Add cinnamon to your smoothies, add it to your oatmeal or sprinkle it on fruit.
Adhering to those tips is a good way to prevent it also!
Your healthcare provider will have you do the Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) around 28 weeks of pregnancy. This is a simple test called the One Hour GTT. You will have to drink a 50 gm. glucose drink and get a blood test one hour later.
I tried the glucose drink. It comes in different flavors, don’t worry it doesn't taste as bad as what you’re imagining. However, it is full of artificial food coloring, high fructose corn syrup (I'm sure it's not from GMO free corn) and BVO or brominated vegetable oil. BVO is patented in the U.S. and overseas as a flame retardant.
Discuss the option of taking the Jelly Bean Test instead of the Glucose Test. How does the test work? You eat 28 jelly beans, which provide 50 grams of sugar. The Jelly Bean Test has been popular amongst midwives for decades. The best part is that you can find GMO-free and naturally-colored jelly beans now. While some data suggests that the results are not entirely as reliable as using the oral glucose test drinks, an article published in a major obstetrics journal states that jelly beans are a reliable alternative that are actually preferred by women and have fewer side effects including nausea, vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea, as well as other adverse reactions including headache, dizziness, and fatigue.
How is the test rated?
If your blood sugar levels are below the cut-off number, then you “pass”.
However if you don’t pass, your provider will ask you to follow up with a diagnostic test called the Three Hour GTT. You will be required to fast for 8 hours and get your blood drawn. Then drink a 100 gm glucose drink and have your blood tested at 1, 2, and 3 hours. If you fail 2 or more of the cut-offs you will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
For more information regarding Gestational Diabetes: ACOG - http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq177.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130727T1600236508
If you all ready have diabetes and are pregnant: ACOG - http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq142.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130727T1607203236
Videos to help you understand Gestational Diabetes better and what you can do to keep your blood sugar levels in check
Here is a great informative video regarding Gestational Diabetes.
I did a four part interview series on Gestational Diabetes with Lily Nichols who is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified LEAP Therapist and a Certified Pilates Instructor. This information is priceless!
- Here is a link to part 1 & 2 What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About Gestational Diabetes.
- Here is a link to part 3 & 4 What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know About Gestational Diabetes - Part 2
Appointment tips. Things that need to get done!
- Sign up for my week to week pregnancy guide plus learn how your baby is growing week to week.
- Start thinking about maternity leave. If you’re currently working, you should be making plans and turning in paperwork for your maternity leave. Make sure that you have talked with both your supervisor and human resources department to ensure that everyone is on the same page. You do have rights and if you are interested in knowing them it is called the: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act and it is an amendment to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Google: 29CFR 1604.10, “Employment Policies Relating to Pregnancy and Childbirth.”
- It is never too early to start looking into childcare if you’re planning on going back to work after the baby is born. Look for daycares in your areas or look for a nanny. Make sure you look into reputable companies and check references!
- Start planning the nursery. Check out 7 Easy Tips on How to Create an Eco Friendly Nursery and Top 10 Reasons To Buy Organic Cotton Clothing, Bedding, And Toys For Your Baby
- Think about getting life and disability insurance.
- Start thinking about your birth. What do you want? What don't you want? Who do you want with you? What would your ideal birth look like? Check out Pregnant- Now What? Where Do I Begin? Pt. 1 Does your doctor support your birth philosophy? Here are some questions you can ask your healthcare provider. Questions To Ask
- Watch Birth Videos
Orgasmic Birth orgasmicbirth.com Debra Pascali-Bonaro
The Business Of Being Born thebusinessofbeingborn.com produced by Ricki Lake
Birth - As We Know It birthasweknowit.com Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova
Gentle Birth Choices DVD by Barbara Harper, RN, CD, CCE
My Birth Movie mybirthmovie.com
- Start interviewing pediatricians.
- If you are starting to buy things for the baby or organizing your registry, please read The Best Newborn Essentials Guide- Preparing For Baby.
- Do any last minute travel because it's best not to travel (plane rides) during your third trimester. But if you are planning on traveling while your in your 3rd trimester, talk with your healthcare provider.
- Start researching about cord blood banking.
Parent's Guide To Cord Blood http://parentsguidecordblood.org/
Cord Blood Center http://www.cordbloodbanking.com
Ultra wellness tips for weeks 23 - 28 (choose a few that seem appealing to you)
- Talk to your baby. Explain to him/her what is happening. Your baby is so in-tuned with everything you’re feeling and thinking. Your baby feels what you feel so it’s important to explain things to them. He/she is listening! Your baby is a conscious little being.
- Take walks and get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. It does wonders for your mood.
- Keep practicing your breathing exercises. Take deep cleansing breaths. Breathe down to your baby and fill them up with oxygen.
- Take a pre-natal yoga class.
- Don’t forget to do things that you love!
- Write 10 reasons why you love your partner and give it to them. I guarantee it will put a smile on his/her face!
- Make sure you are eating a healthy diet and drinking 2 - 3 quarts of water a day. This is super important because your baby is made from what you eat!! Literally! So be mindful of what you put into your mouth and body. Check out my blog ‘12 Tips to Eating Well During Pregnancy’. If you want to learn more about prenatal power foods and what will make you and your baby thrive, 12 Days To A Health Pregnancy, Healthy Baby & Beyond - Prenatal Nutrition 101.
- Wondering what you should be avoiding? Check out my blogs:
- Attention Moms! Top 12 Things To Avoid While Pregnant.
- Attention Moms! The Yucky Seven NON-FOOD Items Pregnant Women and Kids Should Avoid
- Attention Moms! 8 Environmental Things Children and Pregnant Women Should Avoid
Don't forget to check out Tips for Weeks 29 - 32: The Third Trimester!
QUESTION: Are you nervous about being diagnosed with gestational diabetes? If you have, what are you doing to manage it? I would love to hear from you so please write your answer in the comment box below.
If you find this information useful please feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones.
Sears M.D., W., Sears, R.N., M. The Pregnancy Book. 1st Edition. Published by Little Brown and Co. NYC 1997
DASC talk by Dr. Deborah Gleisner, ND, LM, CPM – Prenatal Testing