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Gestational diabetes - Advice & Reassurance Pls(155 Posts)
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 29....so 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 poison.....so I'm really scared now.
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 www.thelunahive.com who can put you in contact with a private midwife who specialises in diabetes in pregnancy,
@Nanmumandmidwife thank you so much. I hope I get my follow up appointment soon as I just feel a bit lost at the moment.
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.
This is the associated page with the FB group- lots of information and recipe ideas: https://www.gestationaldiabetes.co.uk
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!
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
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!
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?
@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
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.
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!
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.
@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
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
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.
I was insulin controlled, which wasn't particularly effective in the end!
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!
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.
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).
@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.
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
@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.
@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
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?
@mintbear I am currently 27 weeks, my GTT result was 5.7 so very slightly over, but I definitely have GD. I am still doing the 4 finger pricks a day, some days are better than others.
How have your finger pricks been since then? Have you had any High readings?
Keep us updated x
Ladies if your morning fasting readings are over the limit, it probably means you're leaving it too late between your last meal and breakfast- meaning your body is then overcompensating and dumping glucose into your blood for energy/survival. A tip I've picked up is to have a snack before bed. Try it and see if it helps. Also, to those of you worried about the upcoming Christmas meals- plenty of meat and cheese and cream on those potatoes should help.
Also, I was told even if you have dream numbers before/after meals, these will most likely change post 28 weeks of pregnancy. Just be mindful of that- it can become much harder to stay diet controlled but again, pair, pair, pair and drink lots of water and exercise/keep active as much as you can following a meal.
Ps. Not to be a cow or anything but take what your midwives say with a pinch of salt- a lot of them have very little to no knowledge about GD. Yes, the odd treat won't hurt but please even then do your due diligence and pair/limit the amount/exercise. GD is often downplayed but can have serious consequences such a placental deterioration. Especially important to avoid if you've been diagnosed early. Do your research- knowledge is power.
@titnomatani gives good advice - I was also about to mention making sure you have a snack before bed to help with morning levels. I think I ate my baby's weight in cheese while I had GD....
FYI type 2 diabetes is the only type of diabetes that can be influenced by weight and diet (and not even all type 2 is caused by weight/diet). I know your probably upset and in shock, but your comment about being slim is exactly the kind of prejudice type 1 (and type 2) diabetics have to face regularly.
I'm really sorry you're going through this, but hopefully your experience of GD will mean that you educate yourself before making comments like that about medical conditions.
@Fettfrett- GD has nothing to do with diet/build. As stated, it's related to placental hormones. I think there's a huuuuuuge misconception everywhere about diabetes developing from eating unhealthily which is why OP mentioned it. I have always been sensible with my diet- with occasional indulgences- sadly, family history and my ethnicity plays against me hence me having a higher incidence of diabetes :'(
Having had GD though, the chances of mums developing T2 diabetes is 3-7 times more likely 5-10 years after birth and the GD child is 6 times more likely to develop T2 later on :/ however, the chances can be lessened via diet/exercise. Therefore the misconception of eating unhealthily, being overweight isn't that much of a misconception in some cases.
So I had my Christmas lunch today, I had two roast potatoes and a spoonful of mash and mint sauce.. i got 7.5 - so over. No pudding for me. I think my readings have been so low because I've been squeaky clean with my eating.
@mintbear oh really, what is your cut of point after hour of eating? Mine is 7.8... at least now you know that certain foods will make your sugar levels increase and you can continue with your clean eating and have the odd treat. What do you normally eat on a daily basis if you don't mind me asking?
@Fettfrett I think you need to calm down a bit - no one is being prejudicial - I was informed by a midwife AND a nurse that diet and obesity levels, as well as things like ethnicity CAN potentially play an effect on being diagnosed with GD - hence my original wording.
I posted innocently in the hope of gaining some support and assurance from the wonderful mothers on here who have gone through the same thing, not to receive judgemental comments over such a thing. You have no idea what advice I’ve been given (whether it is correct or incorrect) so kindly please think things through before you post comments. There is no need to be pedantic over such things.
@titnomatani thanks thats really helpful, I had a relatively early dinner yesterday and today’s reading before breakfast was under control 🙂 ... yes the pairing thing is really important, the diabetic nurse went over it really briefly but that GD website given in the above posts is great on pairing.
@Salina2 @mintbear the following things have been working for me: breakfast 1 wholesaled granary toast with either avocado/cheese/ tofu scramble (if you’re still hungry you can add a few spoons of Greek yoghurt).
Lunch I’ve had: soup and tofu / quinoa and roast veggies (only been 2 days since I’ve been doing the whole pairing thing)
Dinner: so far I’ve had brown rice and paneer with a few spoons of Greek yoghurt. Today I had 2 slices of pizza but only because i was at a friend’s party, my reading was 7.7 so just under the cut off. But i will back on clean eating from tomorrow.
Keep sharing your tips ladies, I’m finding this thread really encouraging and helpful. Big thank you again
You're right! I just checked the sheet, I thought cut off was 7.2 but it's 7.8 post meal and 5.2 pre breakfast. I feel a bit better about it now!
I've been suffering with really bad sickness since about week4, so my diet changed overnight and all I could stomach and keep down was white carbs (white toast, pasta, jacket pot) and plain sugary things like cake and muffins. Which is odd as I'm not really a cake fan and we never have white bread.
Midwife said not to worry as once the sickness goes I'll go back to eating normally- thing is, it never went. After gd diagnosis I've shifted everything to wholemeal and I'm mixing foods a lot more (adding cheese/nuts etc). Although, I'm still struggling with keeping fruits/veg/some meat down. I'm slowing reintroducing it.
Unfortunately, after finding an anti sickness med that worked, I've had to stop taking it as it's given me the worst constipation I've ever had - I'd rather take the daily sickness then that. So I'm back to feeling/being sick but I am finding eating and the sickness better to manage now.
Long post - sorry!!
Thanks for sharing meal tips.
Breakfast- 2x seeded toast with marmite and cheese
Lunches - low sugar Heinz tomato soup, wholemeal roll, cheese, apple.
Dinner - brown egg fried rice with steak strips and small on the vine cooked tomatos with a bit of soy sauce.
I can stomach cooked tomato's and I'm reintroducing eggs so these are my staples at the moment.
And although they offer no nutrients, I've been eating boots sugar free shortbread when I feel sick, they seem to settle my tummy.
@mintbear awesome! I never thought of marmite. Just be cautious pairing soups with more carbs like bread because as soups are blended, they release sugar a lot faster (something I read on the GD uk website... they have more tips on pairing soup, e.g adding cream etc)
I've had GDM twice.
First time controlled by tablets, second time by insulin.
Baby was normal sized first time round and second baby was over 11lbs.
I was carb and dairy free the last 8 weeks of pregnancy as it just pushed my sugars up far too high.
It's trial and error. What worked for me one day, didn't the next.
I just remembered a great bread that is lower carb than most - burgen soya and linseed. It's also high in good fats and protein. A slice of that with a boiled egg had my breakfast sorted. I think Tesco does it still.
Good luck op, sounds like you're doing great. I found GD could change from week to week and it does tend to worsen towards the end so good to be prepared for that. Don't feel bad if that happens, it's just the hormones. I needed metformin in my second pregnancy and it is no big deal at all if meds are needed.
I couldn't tolerate normal bread at all, but I could get away with the high protein rolls from Lidl's fresh bakery section (they are triangular). I was so happy when I discovered this as I could actually have a sandwich again! Lots of meat, full fat coleslaw and salad
Like others, things did get more tricky after the 28 week mark and what would be ok one day would send me over the limit the next day. I managed to control my post-meal levels with diet but my fasting ones were always too high so I ended up on Metformin and then later on, insulin, which really upset me but the nurse was lovely and told me that I couldn't do any more than I was doing which helped a little.
I used to stir peanut butter into full fat Greek yogurt with a few berries and lots of nuts for breakfast which was yummy!
Thanks for tip, I didn't know that.
I'll defo get on and have a read of that website.
I've had it three times, each pregnancy it was picked up earlier (they test sooner if you've had it before) and it always progressed the same way - diet controlled, then Metformin followed by insulin. Don't feel like you've done something wrong if this happens. I really felt the first time that I'd let the baby down but really, there's nothing you can do. As the pregnancy progresses, what used to work doesn't work anymore. I also echo what a pp said, high protein snack late at night helps stabilise the first morning reading
Really love that everyone is sharing tips on what foods work and advice to get us through... I'm a little worried as I will be 28 weeks next week and iv read a lot of women saving the GD gets worse after 28 weeks. I am currently on metformin and it's controlled with that and diet but its not easy as I crave a lot of sweet stuff during this pregnancy.
Can someone send a link the Facebook GD page please?
And it's true, one day I will eat something and I'm fine and the next day I'll have the same thing and my sugar levels change.
I have a growth scan next week and I'm feeling a little nervous as I hope everything is fine and the baby is ok.
It's been a little tough for me as I had a cervical stitch put in at 21 weeks due to having my first DS at 26 weeks. With the stitch I am limited to doing much exercise or physical activities so it doesn't help the GD situation.
Thank you for all the advice ladies, finding it all very helpful
I found I could tolerate porridge if I had a big spoonful of total 5% youghurt on it and a handful of nuts! I couldn't manage two slices of toast, but one with lots of scrambled eggs was OK. Two slices of bread was fine in the evenings though- in fact I seemed to be able to eat most things by the end of the day. Fwiw Im a healthy size 8 normally with no family risk factors and I still got it so it really can be just the luck of the draw. I managed to stay diet controlled the whole way through and gave birth at 40+5 to a healthy 6lb14 boy.
Awwww, reading everyone's comments and experiences is so wonderful, thank you again for all the tips. I will give porridge a go, because at least then I can alternate between porridge and toast for breakfast to mix it up.
@titnomatani @NanooCov - re having a snack at night to help with morning pre-breakfast levels, what sort of things would you suggest? I normally eat my dinner at 6pm and don't have anything after that (also try and go for a walk after dinner but in this weather it's been a bit tough), but a few of my morning readings have still been high.
@AR23 either a slice of toast with peanut butter/egg mayo or Jacobs crackers with butter and cheese or full fat yoghurt with a bit of granola and extra nuts has worked for me. I think having your last meal at 6pm is definitely causing your high fasting levels. Play around with foods to have as a snack before bed and see what your levels are first thing.
Ps. Make up porridge with full fat milk and cream and add in nuts/seeds and see what you're like after an hour. I found I could tolerate porridge in the early days when I made it like this.
@AR23 When I was 30 weeks with Dc2 I had GD. I was 25 slim and had a healthy diet just like yours so was equally shocked.
I stopped cakes/chocs/biscuits/fizzy drinks and also no sugar in tea/coffee. That's about it.
I was strapped to monitor with Dc2 because of GD but in actual fact I ended up preferring it. I didn't mind giving birth at labour ward at all and it all went really smoothly.
So chin up and it'll be okay. :-)
They checked after baby was born and I was clear!
@titnomatani great, thanks for the tips. I'll try that. I guess I just got a little scared as at my first appointment the diabetic nurse told us all not to eat too late so as to not spike morning readings. Today my pre breakfast levels was bang on 5.3 (the cut off level) so so far I've done 4 morning tests, 2 have been fine and 2 have been high. Had the same breakfast as I've been having for the last 4 days and got a higher reading post breakfast It's funny how eating the same food still gives variations.
@MummyToBeAgain1 thank you lovely, that's good to know. So just cutting out those things alone helped control your levels?
Can I ask when you are testing yo ur post-meal levels? Is it one hour from the time that you started or one hour from the time that you finished? Timing seems to be crucial...
@nopun I do it from about the middle point as I'm not sure either. I did ask the diabetic nurse about this and she said it's only about 10mins difference so said it didn't really matter, I did think I take longer than 10 mins to eat!
Also, as I'm still sick I'm snacking in between and really having 5/6 smaller meals a day but not testing each time I eat, just my 3 'main' meal meals.
Readings today were
Breakfast 5.1 (porridge with sweetener)
Lunch 5.2 (Heinz low sugar soup and two brown bread rolls and cheese)
In between I've had an apple with walnuts and a babybel.
So nothing particularly nutritious, but I kept it all down.
Reading people's posts it must be hard when you start going over as there's not really a lot/anything you can do about it, so It's helpful to see people talking about it. I've tried explaining to family that it'll probably get worse throughout pregnancy but I think gd is just misunderstood. I'm also only just beginning to get my head round it all.
@nopun- it's an hour after your last bite. However, you can also test up to two hours after eating but the blood sugar target then changes to 6.4 instead of 7.8.
If you’re not able to check until two hours – rather than one hour – after a meal, you should aim for below 6.4mmol/l.
Should've added- that's from:
Hi op just wanted to add I’ve been diagnosed at 28 weeks too, with a reading of 8.4, first of all I was quite gutted but I’ve actually found the diet changes not too hard, having soup at work, snacking on nuts and cheese and trying to avoid too many carbs and thankfully with diet changes on their own the levels have come down.
Also I hate to admit it but I am less tired and don’t have heartburn now I have cut down on carbs and sugar
Only downside is that baby is due after Christmas but I’m intending to include Christmas cake and chocolate in my hospital bag to have once the cord is cut
Hope it goes well for you
Yeah, sometimes a drastic change in diet is really not required. Plus when you start checking your sugar levels, you'll soon understand the foods that are making the readings higher for you.
Also only check them during the recomended times for accurate results. :-)
@nopun yes timing is crucial as my midwife says even a couple of mins can make a big difference. she told me to test 1 hr after taking the first bite. But it seems advice differs depending where you are? That's just very confusing cos surely there'd be a big difference in readings depending on exactly when you test! Best check with your midwife re. timing and target levels. I was told aim for under 7.8 for 1 hr after first bite.
Thanks everyone. Oh i never thought about timing it from after first bite or after last bite, I just assumed it was 1 hour after the last bite because when I went for the initial glucose test, the test was done 2 hours AFTER finishing the drink. I'll give the midwife a ring and double check.
@mintbear ahhh your readings have been soo good! Well done. I've been scared to try porridge, but I'm getting sick of toast every day for breakfast so I will get some porridge when I go shopping this week. 3/5 of my pre-breakfast ones have been high. Today I'm going to try having a snack before before as someone previously mentioned that's supposed to help.
@AR23 that's interesting! As when I did the test i was told to get bloods taken 1 hour and 2 hrs after first sip! I was only over the 1 hr target reading by 0.1 point but was told that's it, GD it is
Your session will be really helpful.
My takeaways from it were:
Avoid breakfast cereals
Looks at labels and aim for:
Sugar - max 5g per 100g
Fat - max 3g per 100g
Go for a walk after you've eaten too.
I had diabetic jam with my toast in the mornings.
Porridge wasn't great as it's a carb - carbs get turned into glycogen and then glucose so limit your carbs.
Don't eliminate anything necessarily. They said to us that of course we can have a treat every now and then. I had fish and chips one night and it sent my blood sugar sky high. But I could explain that to them and they were fine.
I spent the rest of pregnancy managing on one tablet of Metformin and diet. DS was fine. Didn't affect him at all.
Just be sensible. Consume lots of nice veg and good protein. Have a treat every now and then.
I'm hoping I don't have the same with no.2 (currently growing away as we speak) but I'm not worried if I do. I know what to do this time 😊
Oh and bananas are one of the highest in natural sugars. One banana is two portions of fruit btw.
You'd be better sticking with berries.
Also, avoid yoghurts unless it's natural greek yoghurt. I didnt realise how bad yoghurts were until I looked at their labels. Basically pots of sugar 🙄
Little sweet treats - m&s sugar free drops (hard boiled sweets) I've got a pack of butterscotch and a strawberry and cream one which are just nice to have in the handbag.
I'll have to keep an eye on the porridge but so far I can get away with it.
I've also bought some 'diabetic' jam, it's a brand called stute, I've not tried it yet so I'll have to see how I get on with it.
I'm defo going to ask them again when I should be testing but it does sound like we all have received different advice.
@PlinkPlink thanks for the tips. I'm vegetarian so the sources of protein that I thought would be good for me (different types of beans, lentils, pulses etc) although high in protein, are still high in carbs So I wouldn't be able to pair with brown rice or quinoa .... Other sources of protein for me a tofu and quorn, but there's only so many times I can add it/pair it with lol. Fats i've not struggled with at all, so far been pairing my carbs/fruit with things like greek yoghurt, peanut butter, cheese, nuts, seeds. Fruit wise I've ditched bananas, but I really used to like them as my snack pre GD because it'd keep me full for quite a while. Now I'm having berries, kiwis and granny smith apples (paired with peanut butter or greek yoghurt etc)
I have my first growth scan soon....wish me luck!
Oh my... that makes things much harder. Gosh.
Do you include eggs in your vegetarian diet? Those could be good 😊
Oh yes, I remember that. I got a good few more opportunities to see baby before he arrived which was lovely. It's kind of like a bonus to balance the having to prock yourself 4 times a day
@PlinkPlink I don't have eggs either :/ but I've been thinking about starting them. The consultant I saw yesterday was lovely and didn't slag of a vegetarian diet (i often get that a lot). She was supportive and told me to eat plenty of green vegetables (which I do anyway) but just go easy on the carbs and pair with fat/protein.
@mintbear - I've left a voicemail with my midwife asking about timing of testing, but in the meantime I FB messaged Gestational Diabetes UK and got this reply: Different advice is given from one hospital to another. I always tested one hour after eating, but others test one hour from first bite. Some hospitals will say it doesn't matter as long as it's consistent, so always best to ask your team xx
I had GD in my previous pregnancy and was diagnosed at 13 weeks in this week. My risk factors are entirely genetic but I wasn't that surprised as there is diabetes on both sides of my family which is why I was tested in the first place. I had a normal delivery with my first baby and they were 50th-centile. I only had continuous monitoring as my waters had gone more than 24 hrs prior to active labour beginning.
I was diet controlled in my first pregnancy but I've been put on metformin this time round as my fasting levels wouldn't go down. This is regardless of snacks before bedtime etc. I initially thought that I just had to eat more protein/fat before bed following the advice on various websites, but whatever combination I tried it actually made my fasting levels much worse. I got quite worked up about it as I really didn't want to be medicated and everything I read online kept telling me that if I just found the right combination of fats/protein/carbs before bed then my levels would come down, but it just wasn't happening. My consultant talked me down and told me that this just happens, it's really common that GD is worse in subsequent pregnancies and that medication is probably the best option in my case. It's the only time I've felt like something was my fault but I've come to terms with it now (and stopped obsessively reading websites for ever weirder ideas).
So my advice would be to remember that GD is quite personal and different people react differently - you just have to try things out. For instance, I have always tolerated bananas really well and other fruits very poorly but most people find the opposite. I lived off banana and yoghurt for breakfast in my previous pregnancy but many people would really struggle. Any form of cereal sent my blood glucose sky high and bread of all types is the one thing I'm already tolerating poorly in this pregnancy no matter what I have with it. Interestingly my father has Type-I and I tolerate and fail to tolerate pretty much exactly the same things that he does, genes are fascinating things!
I'm only 21 weeks at the minute so I'm now waiting to see what happens to my post-meal readings, which have been pretty much fine so far. It's very tedious, particularly over Christmas, and I'm already sick of the waiting room at the ante-natal clinic but at least it's only temporary. Keep on plugging on!
Thanks to everyone for sharing and for @AR23 for setting up the group - I'm finding it really helpful to read all the comments.
@Bromeliad thanks for your details reply. Yes my morning readings have been high, yesterday I tried having a bedtime snack but it was still high this morning. They've put me on metformin but it's only been 2 days so far, so hoping that helps to control the morning readings. The post meals one have been okay. If you don't mind me asking, how much did your first baby weigh? And did they have to induce you?
@mintbear you're welcome. I heard back from the maternity team from my hospital, and they said it was 1 hour AFTER finishing food. But seems like different hospitals/consultants give different advice, so probably best you check with your team too
@AR23 my first was 6lb 13oz. I was due for induction on my due date as that was policy where I had her but my waters went a few days earlier and I had a very straightforward delivery in the end.
Just to make you aware that it took a couple of weeks for the metformin to really kick in for me (I think that's quite typical).
So, despite the experience of GD last time, doing as much as I could to control my sugars this time around, I've been put on metformin today based on a few high readings this past week. 34+2 weeks here and consultant said he'd rather err on the side of caution than risk anything else. Having a scan next Tuesday to check baby, etc. Feeling disheartened
@titnomatani awww don't be disheartened! Nothing wrong with taking metformin I was put it on much earlier than you, I'm 30 + 3 and was put on it at 30 weeks exactly. How have your earlier growth scans been?
hi @AR23 may I ask what the hospital advised for target reading 1 hr after eating? Mine said below 7.8 for 1 hr after taking first bite
@LifeIsAnArt hiya, my target readings are below 5.3 before breakfast, and below 7.8 one hour after LAST bite
Mine is after first bite. Guess they are all different
They are happy for me to stay diet controlled at the moment, I'm 20 weeks so I've got a while to go. I think if I go over 3 times in a week they will look to put me meds.
They drilled into me not to feel disheartened if I have to go on meds, it's just one of those things.
@titnomatani please don't feel sad, all you can do is your best and sometimes your body has other ideas and it's completely out of your control.
So the last few days I have seen a spike in my sugar levels, I'm still eating what I was the last few weeks and iv been fine, but all of a sudden the foods seem to be increasing my sugar levels. I'm on metformin once an day and have my 28 week growth scans tomorrow, following an app to see the diabetes midwife/doctor.
Did anyone else notice this happening to them? What advice can you give me? I'm starting to get stressed now and I feel like that might be affecting my readings also ☹️
@Salina2 Hey hun, when did you start the metformin? I was only given my testing kit at 29 + 3, the consultant put me on meformin at 30 weeks exactly. We only had data/testing results from the last 3 days and all the post meals were quite below 7.8 but my morning ones pre-breakfast were ranging from 5.2-5.7 so she put me on the tablets to be on the "safe" side. Someone earlier mentioned it takes about a week for the tablets to kick in....so I'm just hoping for that. I also have my growth scan tomorrow....I wasn't given one at 28 weeks because they only told me about GD then and my first appointments weren't until week 29/30
@Salina2 I'm sorry to hear that, but be kind to yourself - from what I've read I think it is unfortunately quite common that our pregnant bodies tolerate sugar less after 28 weeks (and again after 32 weeks), because the placenta's hormone production gets ramped up at these points (someone please correct me if this is wrong). So it's not anything you've been doing or not doing. If you have a diabetic clinic appointment I would mention it then, and they might increase your dose of Metformin I guess? How did you find taking Metformin btw?
@Salina2 I also noticed that my own levels spiked, partly as a result (I assume) of lack of sleep (my DC has been sick and up a lot in last few nights) and me feeling run down and now fighting off his virus. Apparently both being unwell with bugs and lack of sleep have an impact on sugar tolerance.
@AR23 @nopun so I was diagnosed early, I had my GTT at 16 weeks due to family history of diabetes, I was started on metformin at 22 weeks and didn't really need them for the first few weeks but have been taking them regularly once every morning with breakfast for the last few weeks, they have been working well until this last week. I think they may need to increase my dose which I guess is something I'm not happy about but have to do what's right for baby. Also I do find lack of sleep spikes my sugar levels, iv been suffering with quite bad back pains which means I'm not sleeping properly at night.
I have my app tomorrow so I will mention everything to them and see what I have to do. I'm just hoping I don't have to go on insulin. I'm also struggling to figure out what to eat for certain meals and snacks, I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you both for replying.
@nopun how have your results been recently? @AR23 good to know your sugar levels are controlled, i feel so guilty when I get a High reading, I feel like I'm harming my baby ☹️
@Salina2 aww bless you, well my morning readings pre-breakfast every single day have been higher than the cut off limit, which i find scary. But there's nothing I can do about that
So for snacks I have kiwi with greek yoghurt (with sometimes 1-2 tsp peanut butter), or blueberries with greek yoghurt / cucumber sticks with philadelphia cheese / granny smith apples sliced and peanut butter on each slice. Good luck with your scan. Just remember we're all in it together
Why is it so difficult to get enough blood for the morning tests. I have an issue with needles and this constant pricking is starting to hurt.
I pushed it a little with my diet yesterday, this mornings fasting reading was 5.2.
Frustrating but a good dose of reality.
@mintbear 5.2 is still ok for fasting level, isn't it?
@Salina2 yes, my levels have spiked too this week, esp the pre-breakfast ones seem much higher in last few days than they did before. It's so frustrating.
It's just ok, 5.3 would be over. It's the highest reading I've had for the fasting and I know it's because of what I ate. Just means I have less flexibility than I thought.
Had my growth scan today, baby is doing well and everything looks fine thankfully.
The doctor said to increase my metformin to try and get my sugar levels back down for breakfast as that is when I can't seem to keep it down. She also said if the metformin don't help I might have to go on insulin before breakfast. She has told me to increase my dose to see if this helps first. Don't really want to have to go on insulin.
I have another app Wednesday to review my results so fingers crossed I can get the sugar levels down again.
Hope you are all doing well 🤗
I hope the extra tablets work for you, fab news on the scan and good luck for Wednesday
@Salina2 that’s great news re the scan and baby, good luck with appt, keep us posted. I’m feeling a bit down about my pre breakfast levels... let’s see what the consultant says on Monday.
I feel like we are all beating ourselves up so I think we need to rethink our thoughts and be kinder to ourselves. Being pregnant is hard enough without feeling guilty/bad over (let's be honest) something that is out of our control, we're all trying our best and that's all we can do. Sending out the positive vibes for a happy weekend.
I'm about to have a breakfast for dinner and I'm crossing my fingers that these new anti acid tablets from the doc will do the trick!
@mintbear awww thank you! Sometimes we just need some uplifting! Have a lovely weekend to my dear
@mintbear I agree, sending positive vibes and hugs to everyone. Good luck xxx
Yes completely agree - happy vibes to everyone, and hope that the drugs are doing their thing
Can I ask how you all are dealing with fruit & Vit C? I always used to eat loads of fruit, and now that I'm run down by massive cold and a brewing UTI all I really want to eat are oranges, kiwis, applies, berries etc. I had cut right down on these, and then gave in and had half an orange last night - and today my sugar levels are so high. it's all so frustrating
@nopun I don't eat a lot of fruit as it is high in sugar but I was told having a certain type of orange would be fine, at the moment I'm ok with oranges but I am finding my food tolerance is changing as my pregnancy progresses. Have you tried pairing the orange with something? Are you on metformin meds? Iv has to increase my dose in the morning as my breakfast readings were getting higher even after eating the same foods I was a few weeks ago ☹️
Hi ladies....so I did a pre-breakfast test yesterday, and got a really nice low reading (4.2) - first time ever and couldn't believe it. So I did another test within seconds but used a finger on the other hand and got a really different result (4.9).
This happened last night after dinner too, got something 4.9, tried it on a finger on other hand, then got 6.4?! That's quite a big difference, has this happened to anyone else before?
@AR23 yes have had this before, sometimes even 2 whole points difference! 🙄 I always wash my hands carefully before testing too. Then again I don't try to prick the extra finger if I can help it, normally only if I suspect a reading is abnormal
@nopun I think it kind of depends how high your readings are generally. I'm diet controlled at the moment and for the first couple of weeks after diagnosis was v careful with fruit; this was hard (much harder for me than limiting carbohydrates) as I'm usually an aggressive fruit eater. I then had constipation. After speaking to the midwife and doctor, they suggested just eating fruit every other hour as snack and not hold back too much, that's after my scan which revealed that baby's measuring fine, actually on the smaller side. So I'd say it comes down to how you're managing those levels and what the doctors say in your specific case. Worth asking in my opinion!
@nopun I was told that two small satsumas were fine as a snack. Do be aware that your sugar levels can go wonky when you're ill so it may be that rather than the orange. I had a 24 hour bug last week and all my reading were high despite eating less than normal. The diabetic midwife always checks if I've been ill if I have random spikes.
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