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Gestational diabetes - Advice & Reassurance Pls

(155 Posts)
AR23 Mon 02-Dec-19 11:01:10


I am 29 weeks today and a few days ago at my 28 week midwife appointment I found out I have gestational diabetes (my sugar levels were 8.4 and the midwife said the cut off level is 7.8).

So firstly I'm really upset and sad, it came as a bit of a shock as I've just turned 31, I'm slim, exercise regularly and eat quite healthily.

I'm still waiting on receiving my letter for the next steps, which I think are attending a gestational diabetes clinic where I'll be given more information etc.

I'm just looking for advice and some reassurance until then I guess. Called the midwife and she wasn't able to help much as she wasn't a specialist on the area. But from what I know so far, I should avoid white bread, pasta, white rice....desserts, biscuits ad sugary things, and fruits that are quite citric.

Are bananas ok? And porridge?

I had the glucose test done at week 27, got the results at week 28, and today I'm week it's already been 2 weeks I've had it without me knowing, in which time, I've had the occasional chocolates, cakes etc, so I'm a bit worried. The midwife said it can lead to large babies being born....and effectively high sugar level is like I'm really scared now.

Nanmumandmidwife Mon 02-Dec-19 14:59:32

This is a specialist area of midwifery/obstetrics and it is right for you to be seen in a specialist clinic.
The most important thing to know is that having found out about the diabetes means that you and your baby can be well cared for. It is much safer to know.
The key issue is controlling blood sugar through diet choices and eating/exercise patterns. The team will give you information about this and you should be offered an appointment with a dietician.
Please don’t worry about the last few week, the important thing is to get your levels controlled for the rest of the pregnancy.
You may want to contact who can put you in contact with a private midwife who specialises in diabetes in pregnancy,

AR23 Mon 02-Dec-19 16:15:36

@Nanmumandmidwife thank you so much. I hope I get my follow up appointment soon as I just feel a bit lost at the moment.

titnomatani Mon 02-Dec-19 18:35:23

Your weight, build or what your diet has been like before/during pregnancy doesn't cause GD. It's the placenta that causes an imbalance in hormones that leads to hyperglycaemia in some people. You couldn't have avoided it no matter what so please don't blame yourself. Join the FB group- GD UK mums- what they don't know isn't worth knowing. You can eat a little bit of everything- you just have to pair it with fats and protein- meats/cheese/cream/nuts/seeds. Cereals can increase your numbers massively so through trial and error you'll realise what you can eat or can't eat. I can't tolerate porridge but can other cereals. To give you an example, I have weetabix with SS milk with cream and flaxseeds sprinkled on top in the morning. I can have two small slices of toast with cheese or eggs or some sort of meat. When I have a sweet craving- I have a few squares of chocolate with cream- so chocolate- swig of cream- chocolate- swig of cream! Lol! Hospitals are very bad sometimes with the advice they give- do your own research. The Facebook group is amazing for this. Also, drink lots of water after a meal and go for walks or do some gentle exercise.

titnomatani Mon 02-Dec-19 18:36:58

This is the associated page with the FB group- lots of information and recipe ideas:

OnlyLittleMissOrganised Mon 02-Dec-19 19:39:55

I had this. There is a gestational diabetes recipe book that is available on Amazon. I found it really useful. Basically as long as you go low carb/sugar, high protein and fats then you will be fine. I kept my sugars 90% in line. The occasional treat is fine. Also exercise I.e up and down stairs or walking around the block really helps to lower blood sugars after a meal. Be mindful they may say you will have a big baby. Because I controlled my GD my little one was 6lbs 3oz when born so a lot smaller than expected!

OstrichRunning Mon 02-Dec-19 19:49:44

That website is great. OP, in my first pregnancy I was diagnosed at 35 weeks, which was really scary, but everything went fine. They're really on top of GD these days. I did find the advice from the dieticians in my maternity hospital to be a bit 'textbook' - it took some trial and error before I found out what I could and couldn't tolerate, and a lot of things they said I could eat (e.g. beans on baked potato) affected my blood sugars too much. Have you been given a blood sugar testing kit? They're very helpful.

Re fruit, I wouldn't eat a banana, they are high in sugar. The only fruit I was fine with was berries and apples paired with protein/fat of some kind. But everyone's different. Just get onto that website and FB group and you'll get great advice and support there

AR23 Tue 03-Dec-19 14:52:32

Thanks everyone and thanks @titnomatani for the link!

Forgot to mention I'm also vegetarian, but that's not a problem as there are loads of things that I can still eat under the proteins/fats umbrella. I will just need to be careful with my carbs I guess and swap them for things like brown rice, brown bread etc.

Been so scared for the last 2 days all I've had is plain porridge for breakfast and lunch (and a veggie stir fry for dinner). But that's not really ideal as I will get bored of porridge.

I got a call from the midwife today, have my first appointment at the diabetic clinic this Thursday so will get more info then. Midwife said I'd then have a follow up appointment with a diabetic consultant, who will then arrange extra scans.

Wish me luck!

Salina2 Wed 04-Dec-19 17:00:31

AR23 hope you are well, I know how you feel as I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes after my first GTT, not a nice feeling at all, I didn't have GB with my DS who is now 20 months so it came as a shock when I was told this time, I am diet controlled and metformin once a day to keep the sugar levels maintained. I'm trying my best to eat well but have a treat here and there, I see my diabetic midwife every two weeks and will have growth scans but as far as I'm aware it is controlled. I understand your worry but it's good to be under a diabetic midwife who can help you control your sugar levels and keep a close eye on baby. How was your first app with the diabetic midwife?

AR23 Wed 04-Dec-19 18:59:35

@Salina2 aww thanks for the reassurance. I have my first appointment tomorrow, but I think tomorrow’s session is more of an informative session with other ladies who have gestational diabetes. Then on Monday I have an appointment with some from the obstetrics team - I think that’s with a consultant/midwife.

The weeks were flying by, but now because of the GD each week is going to drag sad

NanooCov Wed 04-Dec-19 19:20:16

Hi there. I had gestational diabetes with my second child so understand how you feel. The website and Facebook group mentioned up thread is excellent. The advice is brilliant and the recipes good too. Some are free or you can pay for access to others.
At your first appointment they will likely talk about diet. The advice I got from the NHS wasn't great to be honest - following the GD Mums advice was more successful. They will also probably show you how to test your blood. You'll pick it up really quickly but it's a steep learning curve to begin with.
You'll soon get into the swing of things and find what your body can tolerate - I couldn't have any carbs with breakfast at all so often had a fry up! You do have to strike a balance though as if you don't have enough carbs you may get high ketones (they'll tell you more about this).
Drinking lots of water also helps.
Be aware that as your pregnancy progresses you may not be able to manage your blood sugars with diet alone. I ended up on metformin and a small dose of insulin towards the end. Metformin can cause nausea so try to persuade them to prescribe the slow release version if you have to have it - it's more expensive than quick release apparently so often they don't as standard.
Just remember none of this is your fault at all - pregnancy does weird things to the human body.
My son was perfectly healthy, 8lb 1oz and my GD disappeared immediately after delivery.

AuntieMaggie Wed 04-Dec-19 19:30:41

Good advice here already but I couldn't tolerate porridge so maybe make sure you're having it with protein to reduce the impact. As someone already said it's a lot of trial and error to see what works - some bread I could tolerate one slice others two slices and I ate a lot of cheese, peanut butter and Lidl protein yogurts!

mintbear Wed 04-Dec-19 21:18:32

I've just been diagnosed with GD.
I'm 19 weeks, so it's very early to get a high reading on the fasting blood test. Luckily I had a hba1c test through a private medical a few months ago which had a reading of 36 so they are now comfortable I didn't have undiagnosed type2 before pregnancy.

What it does mean is that getting gd so early means I'll most probably go into tablets straight away.

Today I was given a blood testing kit and details on what to/what not to eat.

I will go back in a week with my reading (4 pin pricks a day) and they will decide from there how to play it.

I was told I will get a scan at every diabetic midwife appointment from 24 weeks, so depending on how 'bad' it gets I imagine this will be ever 3-4 weeks.

I've been an absolute wreck emotionally. It's been very difficult to process, I just feel awful about it.

Key takeaways were to not just have a carb on its own - eg if you have slice of toast (nutty brown bread is best apparently) have it with cheese/peanut butter/marmite. Or if you have an apple, again add some cheese/nuts. Essentially add in fat to carbs where you can and avoid the obvious- ie anything with sugar and white bread.

Salina2 Wed 04-Dec-19 23:22:57

@AR23 yes so you will have a group meeting with other women with GD which will be done by a diabetic midwife, makes you feel slightly better when you see all those other women, you know your not alone in this, they will give you a device to check your sugar levels and teach you how to use it, you will have to go away and check 4 times a day to see were you are sitting with the GD. I noticed when eating certain foods my sugar levels would rocket up, I'm still learning what I can and can't eat but everything in moderation, I crave a lot of sweet stuff with this pregnancy so I allow myself a something sweet once a day but in moderation. I am on metformin once a day which helps keep the sugar levels in check. You will feel a lot better after the group session and will slowly get use to it. Just remember it's temporary and once little bubs is here, most likely your sugar levels will go back to normal. Don't worry and good luck thanks

orangejuicer Thu 05-Dec-19 08:16:40

It's a shock but you'll adjust. You'll be ok.

Be aware you may be offered an ELCS. I had one and came out with a 10lb 3 DS grin

titnomatani Thu 05-Dec-19 21:09:14

Wow @orangejuicer- were you diet controlled? That is one big baby! I was told my baby was massive but he was born at the 50th percentile in the end. OP- the baby's weight predictions aren't always accurate.

orangejuicer Thu 05-Dec-19 22:21:23

I was insulin controlled, which wasn't particularly effective in the end!

Boobahs Thu 05-Dec-19 22:48:20

I highly recommend that FB group, UK GD Mums, they explain everything really well.

All of the advice that the NHS diabetes team gave me was useless, and caused my levels to rocket. Follow the diet that the FB group explain and you will soon work out what you can and can't tolerate. There's no way that I could have eaten porridge! Lots of high fat, high protein and low carbs. The "pairing" thing really works. Make sure you plan for the hospital stay too, I had to stay in for at least 24 hours afterwards but was induced beforehand (ended up being in hospital 8 days as the induction failed) so ended up taking peanut butter, cheese, oatcakes, sugar free jellies in with me! confused

AR23 Fri 06-Dec-19 11:27:03

Thanks everyone, had my first session with 3 other ladies (I was expecting there to be more people lol). The nurse told us what we should eat/avoid and gave us our kits. Have my 2nd appointment on Monday with a consultant.

It is difficult to get into the swing of pairing and planning but hopefully I get used to it soon.

I think it's taken a toll on me emotionally and mentally and now I need to plan meals otherwise come lunch/dinner I'm starving without any idea of what to eat. Going food shopping today to get a few bits and pieces that I can replace with.

I've taken 3 results so far, one last night after dinner, one before breakfast, and one after breakfast. The one before breakfast was higher than the cut off limit given to us (5.3) which is annoying, but the other 2 were within the limits (under 7.8). I've changed my walking routine so that I now try and go after every meal, even if it's just for 15-20 mins. Think that might have helped the other results which came up as within the range.

Thank you all for your support, just hope these last 10 weeks go fast.

mintbear Fri 06-Dec-19 13:47:34

I've been testing for about a day now.
Struggling with getting blood out my finger first thing in the morning.
My results yesterday were all under 5.2, so it's made me think maybe I don't need to be so rigid (which is what the midwife said to me). I've pushed it a little bit today with my lunch and the reading was 5.8 - so still well under.
I've been diagnosed really early, I'm only 19 weeks, so I know it's likely to get a lot worse as pregnancy progresses.
Ive known about it for just over a week now and I think it's settling a bit, I still have a wobble every so often.

Sweet treat idea - Greek yog and boots no sugar chocolate- Ive melted the chocolate and stirred though. Or done the same with plain porridge (don't touch the ready made stuff it's laced with sugar).

AR23 Fri 06-Dec-19 14:06:57

@mintbear Awww that's great that your first few readings have been under the cut off level. It definitely gives you a bit of hope and a confidence boost.

I went to Tesco and Lidl today and got a few bits so I have some ideas for meals and snacks now. Got some kiwis, berries, greek yoghurt, quorn, tofu, nuts, peanut butter, brown rice. Help that will help with 'pairing'.

I thought porridge was good as it's low glycemic foods but the diabetes nurse yesterday told us to avoid porridge (even plain) which I'm really gutted about as at least that was breakfast sorted.

mintbear Fri 06-Dec-19 14:19:15

Oh really? That's different to what I was told - I have read that the advice is different with different trusts.
Yes, happy with testing so far but I know it'll just get worse as it goes on. She said there is only so much you can do with diet and it's different to type 2.

Good luck with yours, I'll keep sharing any tips I have.
I read basmati rice was 'better' than brown today, which I was really surprised about. I suppose you don't really know how your body processes certain foods until you eat it and test.

I've got a family Christmas meal this weekend.. I've decided to eat what I want (within reason- and no pud, so I'll have a roast potatoe) as my first real test of what my sugars will be with slightly risky food

Salina2 Fri 06-Dec-19 14:55:31

@AR23 I understand how your feeling, when I first found out I had GD I think I cried, it was very emotionally draining, as time goes along you get use to it, you learn what foods work for you and what foods don't. Don't be to strict on yourself, my midwife is lovely and has told me to eat what I want in moderation and learn what my body can take and go from there.

I'm pretty sure morning cut or point is 5.5- 5.6, I will double check but I have it written in my notes. When you go back to visit the diabetic midwife they will check your daily readings and see if you need to go on metformin, I am currently on one tablet a day and my midwife said that's fine and I'm doing fine with that. I was obviously made aware the further I go in my pregnancy my GD could get worse but it just means I'll have to watch what I eat more and maybe up my dose of metformin.

Just remember it's not forever, it's a temporary measure to ensure your little one is healthy as are you.

Any more advice I can offer please feel free to message me. You are not alone in this and it's nice to have support from one another. thanks

Salina2 Fri 06-Dec-19 14:58:54

@mintbear sounds like your GD is very controlled, hope it stays that way for you. I was around 19-20 weeks when I found out I had GD and mine was a lot higher then that so it could be that you don't have it as your readings are good.

Enjoy your Xmas dinner, treat yourself and have a pud as well smile

mintbear Fri 06-Dec-19 15:11:23

Thanks and it's nice to know of someone who has been diagnosed early too.

I keep saying to my husband I don't think I have gd - but my levels were over on the fasting test (8.1 after the sugar drink).. so I'm in a bit of denial.

How many weeks are you now?
Do you have to keep up the 4 finger pricks a day through out?

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