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Pregnancy is wonderful… Gestational Diabetes is not.
I’m 29 weeks pregnant now. Usually around this time, it is typical to test how your body is responding to glucose. In your pregnancy, there are certain hormones that can interfere with your body’s ability to bring glucose into the cells leaving a higher blood glucose. If you think about it, it makes sense because you want some glucose to go to the baby. However, if too much glucose goes to the baby, you could end up with an unhealthy, “fat” baby with sugar issues at birth.
Last pregnancy, I did the typical one hour 50 grams of glucose test. I think my result was 140 (which is the upper limits of normal). From that point on, I was put on a very restrictive, low carb diet. This was before I had ever heard of being grain free or paleo. It was a major shock for me when I had no recipes that I liked that were basically no carbs (no sweet potatoes : ( , brown rice, beans).
Gestational diabetes is somewhat controversial in some groups as in “does it really exsist” or is it a normal thing in pregnancy to have higher blood glucose to give energy to the baby. Most studies show that there is no better outcome from being diagnosed with gestational diabetes – if anything there are few positive outcomes when doctors insist on inducing early or just scheduling c-sections due to risk of larger babies.
One article I read, said that possibly babies that are going to be larger and need more energy release a signal to the placenta to secrete more hormones that block glucose absorption into the mom’s cells leaving more for the growing baby. I’m not sure, but it makes sense given my 9 pound baby – is now a toddler who is over the 95th percentile for weight and height. I don’t think there was anything I could have done differently to have “grown” a smaller baby given her personal genetics.
Luckily, going through that process last time has helped me so much this pregnancy. I decided to decline the one hour glucose tolerance test, and just test at home one hour after meals to see what foods caused any spikes. I wouldn’t say that I have gestational diabetes, but I do tend to have glucose intolerance – which would be the precursor. I have very few high numbers 2 hours after meals (over 120)
The past week I have been testing and showing that I do great for my typical breakfast and lunch. I start my day with eggs and yogurt and usually have a huge salad for lunch. Dinner is usually when I vary my meals. I’ve learned that I can have some carbs this pregnancy (I don’t think I could handle any carbs at first last pregnancy).
I cooked homemade chicken alfredo with tons of vegetables and tossed with pasta – it was SOOOOOO good!! and it didn’t spike my blood sugar! But If I eat over 50 grams of carbs (or so) even with lots of protein, I will see a rise in my blood sugar. Last night we had CORN (clean our refrigerator night) and I had taco meat and black beans, with roasted sweet potatoes, carrot souffle (recipe here) and green beans. At one hour, my glucose level was 106 – which is great!
Again, the change isn’t as bad as last pregnancy when I was eating a lot more carbs (whole grain what-nots). When I don’t eat any carbs (fruit, starchy vegetables, etc) I don’t feel like I have any energy – like can’t get out of the chair. So I am very thankful I can tolerate some healthy forms of carbs for energy.
Exercise wise: I am either doing about 35 minutes on my elliptical machine (last week I got in 55 minutes one day!) or going on about a 50 minute walk in my hilly neighborhood daily. I would exercise normally, so that isn’t a change at all.
I just have to be a little more proactive in what I’m going to cook or eat – and no cheats – which I would have had a treat at small group that I will have to pass on now : ( Only 10 weeks or so left! Of course I want to do anything to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, this will be worth it in the end.
I’m taking the Perfect Prenatal whole food vitamins throughout my pregnancy. They were recommended to me when I was pregnant with Aidalyn and I loved them so much I’m taking them again. You can buy some through HerbsPro (affiliate) with this discount code:
We are getting so excited about welcoming Annaleigh into our family!
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