Baby Hints & Tips

Coping with gestational diabetes

Coping with gestational diabetes I got diagnosed with GD on Monday, and I have had to do quite a radical diet change but my morning sugars are too high (over 5) how did you get them lower? I don’t want to go on insulin and I am following the rules to the letter. How did you cope and regulate everything? It seems to me that before diagnosis I was eating less now I am eating small meals what feels like constantly (every 2 hours)

GD – gestational diabetes

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* Note diabetes needs to be carefully managed by your medical team*

  • I was diagnosed with GD at 26 weeks. I found a few things that helped lower sugars. Firstly always have protein with your carbs. I found things like chicken and eggs always bought my levels down. So eat more protein. Secondly I started walking for 40 minutes every morning and noticed a huge difference. My levels dropped drastically. Keep a food diary as everyone is different and responds differently to certain foods, eg I couldn’t eat low gi raisin toast or bananas but could eat pasta, low gi soy and linseed bread etc. I always had a glass of milk before bed too. You will work out what works for you. My boy was born at 38 weeks healthy and 6lb 13oz. Good luck! Pip
  • I had the same problem. I did end up on insulin, but what helped for a while was having a protein based snack right before bed. No carbs, just protein. Also, every time I woke up I drank some water. Also remember guidelines are just that, guidelines. I stressed out completely, worried I was making my baby sick as I couldn’t get those morning numbers under control (rest of the day was fine), but in the end I had to let it go because the stress was worse than the blood sugars. My little boy was born by c section a week ago. He was 3.7kg & his blood sugars were fine! Sharon
  • I had the same issue for the first 2 weeks after being diagnosed. My day levels were fine, just my fasting levels were high. I introduced a new nightly routine of getting on the treadmill for 15 mins or walking for 1km about an hour after dinner, and 2 weeks later I haven’t had a single high level. Nicole
  • My nutritionist suggested eating something like raisin toast just before I went to bed at night to help my morning sugars!!! Jonelle
  • Firstly, it isn’t as bad as it may seem- it is actually quite easy once you get the hang of it! I recovered very quickly and had very little pregnancy pain because of the diet and exercise. Be aware that stress and anxiety play a huge roll in high blood sugars. So staying positive and not getting stressed helps. I stopped work early because of being stressed in my job and as soon as that happened by sugar levels were great! I only had issues with fasting as well- that is hormone related. I exercised before breakfast each day and ate a small snack before bed. That seemed to help. I had protein. So either cheese and nuts or yogurt etc. good luck Raina
  • I had GD too, you need to look at what your having at dinner time, or last meal before bed. Some foods react with people differently to others. The lower the g.i in the good the better. I strongly suggest to have oats with skim milk, little bit of cacao powder (not choc just straight cocoa) this I found bought my blood sugar level down to 3 to 4 range! I know it sounds like a breaky good but it did the trick for me! Plus I didn’t mind something different and it made my morning readings amazing! Natalie
  • 50%gof people with gd end up on insulin or medication. If fasting sugars are high then there isn’t much you can do to change that. 99% of the time its got nothing to do with what food you eat or when it’s just what your body is doing. Jade
  • My fasting level was the only one that was high too. Exercise helped me as well as eating smaller meals 5 times a day. I didn’t normally eat after dinner. I would walk for approx 40-60 minutes every morning up until baby was born but it depends on you. Tenille
  • Hi! I’m currently 35 weeks pregnant with GD. My morning levels were slightly too high until I added a snack at bedtime. Sounds silly I know, but it actually allows your body to process the carbs overnight and not dump extra glucose into your system. I either have a glass of milk and milo (great for iron levels as well) or yogurt. Aiming for about 15-20 grams of carb. Keryn
  • The key to good sugar levels is eating small meals of low GI foods regularly- so no more white stuff- bread, rice, pasta etc- also if your used to having 2 pieces of toast for breaky, have one piece at breaky and another piece 1-2 hours later- it will stop a spike in your sugars, I had to take Insulin 4 times a day and am now type 2 diabetic from GD, I’m one of the unlucky ones, learn how to count carbs, read all food labels and learn what you can and can’t eat, see a diabetes educator and read heaps and heaps on the Internet for recipes etc. Julie
  • insulin isn’t as bad as it sounds. I was on it from 10 weeks with my first and have been in it with my twins since 4 weeks. If anything the finger prick hurts way more than the insulin needle. My doc and i worked out my sugars go haywire the minute i pregnant which is not good but we manage it reasonable well I find i need to have a small snack before bed to help with my morning level. Almonds are great and any fruit is good too. Cindy
  • Unfortunately if ur morning sugars are too high that means that its hormonal. You should call your Oby and unfortunately you will probably go on insulin Kelly
  • Sometimes it doesn’t matter what you do they will still be high you could do exactly the same thing every day and get different readings each time. Jamie
  • eggs eggs eggs! I was shocked at what would give me a high…baked beans…an orange. It takes a little time to work out what your body is doing. I found it easiest to eat the same things and same times once I figured out what kept me in the right range. Boring I know but easier than worrying for me. I ate loads of tinned salmon and vita wheats with cream cheese too. Yoghurt. Cheese. Be kind to yourself it takes a bit to get your head around. Nicolee
  • I have heard there are several foods that can help control sugar levels. Try having a teaspoon of cinnamon before bed maybe in a cup of tea or coffee or hot chocolate. Or plain milk! Eat more protein, such as steak, less carbs. Apples and citrus fruits are great snacks, high in Fibre and with natural sugars. And vitamin C also helps with sugar levels. Remember nothing will help overnight but with you will notice a steady improvement over a period of time. Good luck. Caszie
  • Sorry if this has already been said, didn’t read all the comments. I have GD and originally had the same thing. If you haven’t seen a dietitian yet do this, they are so much more informed than the doctor around diet control. I can highly recommend Julie at New Life Nutrition. She got my levels into check instantly. As for the fasting level there is a thing called the somatic effect. Eat something protein before bed eg. glass of milk, yogurts and see if this helps the morning level. Dianne
  • if your morning sugars ( fasting) are too high it is hormonal and there is not much you can do apart from insulin injections the night before. The diabetic educator will monitor your levels over a couple if weeks and if you have 3 or more high readings in a week they will prob talk to you about insulin. I had to be on insulin as even though I are a perfect diet my hormones would not cooperate. Good luck I know how difficult GD is and I had it from 15 weeks Amanda
  • If your morning sugars are so high there is little you can do. Are you eating supper before bed. That can make a difference. But you sound like you are just like I was and I had no choice but to have a small dose of insulin at night. Heather
  • I made sure I had a late snack before bed. Be it a lite yoghurt or peanut butter sandwich. That helped for me 1 & 4. I breast and formula feed and find nan ha gold no problems. I also tried a few bottles before my daughter took to pigeon. Amelia
  • I was diagnosed with GD at about 8 weeks pregnant with baby no. 3. No matter what i ate my fasting levels wouldn’t come down so i ended up on insulin. It seems a bit daunting at first but really isn’t that bad, i think the finger prick hurts more than the insulin injections the needles are tiny. Gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy 7 months ago and i’m now 20kgs lighter than when i fell pregnant thanks to the strict diet. Best of luck to you. Dana
  • I had the exact same thing. I was in pre labor at 26 weeks and then at 28 weeks I was diagnosed with GD. I was put on a controlled diet but it didn’t bring my fasting level down. I tried different snacks before bed and it didn’t change then at 30 weeks I was hospitalised as I was in early labor and needed to have steriods for my lil man and was given 2 units of insulin for fasting levels. 2 units was the maximum I could have to try n bring my level down but it didn’t change my levels at all. I was put on metformin (for GD) and nifedipine (for pre labor) however these were stopped as they started to shut my liver down. I ended up just having to eat a very very strict diet with the tiniest portions 6 times a day (literally felt like I wasn’t eating). The drs put it down to the fact I have PCOS and my hormones were all out of wack. I lost 12kgs in the pregnancy and ended up being induced at 38+1 to a healthy lil boi weighing 3.4kgs and his sugars were fine. The weird thing was the morning I was being induced (as I was 3cm already) my fasting sugar levels were 4.5 for the first time ever in the whole pregnancy. Then after birth my levels for the first day had dropped and were in range. I am due to have my GD tested again in 2 weeks, so fingers crossed it’s all normal. The one thing I can advise u is dnt get stressed and beat urself up about it. I was continually stressed out and breaking down crying for days cuz I couldn’t get my levels down. Now when I look back I realised I stressed for nothing as my body was obviously trying to cope with all the hormones in my body and it was just not meant to go any lower than it was. Kacci
  • Go for a walk or do some exercise after your evening meal Emma
  • Eat your last snack around 9pm Jannette
  • I had the exact same thing sugars were fine but my first one in the morning was always a little bit higher. I ended up being put on insulin just for the fasting period. I was so good with diet lost 7 kgs in 2 weeks ( not trying ) but it still happened. Everything went fine elective c section at 38 weeks bub was 2.88 kgs Jess
  • The idea of small constant meals and snacks is to regulate your blood sugar to avoid highs and lows. I found that certain foods affected my sugar through trial and error. Also stress and illness can affect it. How are your other levels? Kimberley
  • I was exactly the same, my gd was controlled well during the day with a big change in my diet. Unfortunately my morning readings were high so I was placed on insulin for just overnight. I cried for 2 weeks about it, but u just have to carry on. The most important thing is that ur baby is healthy and if that’s what u have to do, I just do it, as ur pregnancy progresses and u become less active ur sugars will change. My advise is keep eating healthy and maintain activity, this will help control it better even if u end up being on insulin once a day. And just remember it’s just temporary. Maria
  • i dont think there is a lot to change your morning sugars unfortunately and sometimes no matter how good your diet is your hormones will have the final say It might be in the best interest for you and bub to go on insulin if your sugars are too high. Have you seen a dietician/diabetes educator and had a good chat one on one with them. Hope it works out for you (i was borderline GD, long story) Amy
  • Usually if your morning sugars are a bit higher it may mean that you’re eating too many carb servings at night time. If it’s not that then it may mean that you will likely go onto insulin (it might just be a small amount in the morning if your sugars are still ok for the rest of the day) don’t be scared about insulin I know it sounds daunting but it really isn’t that bad! Have you seen a diabetes educator or a dietician? Dieticians are really great at helping revise what you’re actually eating (carb, sugars & free foods etc). I’m not sure what you’ve been told but usually if you’re morning sugars are under 6.0 then you’re still considered to be in the “good” control range. Good luck! Annie
  • I had GD, same thing with morning sugars. They are going to keep going up as your pregnancy progresses due to the hormones until around weeks 35. Insulin sounds scarier than it actually is and at the end of te day it controls the weight of your baby and prevents the placenta from failing in final weeks. Diet adjustment can be a bit of a hassle but again you will get used to it and probably end up losing weight from being so healthy. Good luck and stay positive! Fliss
  • I cut out almost all carbs. Try grilled bacon and eggs (no toast) for breakfast. Kristy
  • I had GD with my first pregnancy which was diet controlled I just changed my diet and did little workouts every couple of days and my was under control. Now I’m pregnant again I’m not having my Glucose test done just checking my blood and changed my diet. Feel free to inbox me if you want to talk further and also I was induced at 38 weeks but my baby was a normal 6 pound 4 oz Terry-Anne
  • it will feel like you are eating all the time! I was insulin dependant GD. My morning was always put of whack the only thing you can really do is make sure you have late supper the night before and if possible increase excersise thru the day it will overall help your body to metabolise and break down foods. I still had a sweet treat once a day but had it as a afternoon tea/snack (I was addicted to iced coffee) which meant it would not necessarily effect my after dinner reading. Just read labels especially on yoghurt a the “diet” ones are not always lower in carb sugars, they are generally lower in fat. Kerry
  • I had GD & my morning readings were always 5.5. I used to have a jatz bickie or a few almonds at about 4am (would take my sugars first & they were under 5)…my doc wasn’t too fussed as I’d still fasted for a few hours & it kept me off insulin. The last couple of weeks of my pregnancy all my levels were a lot lower & was told that’s due to the changing hormones. Tracey
  • Discuss with your Dr whether Metformin tablets are an option before going on insulin. Apparently safe to take from 2nd trimester. I have been told if your levels throughout the day are good then there isn’t much you can do about fasting levels. Once you hit the 3rd trimester it’s even harder to control unfortunately. Gaynor
  • I ate two pieces of burgain fruit bread toasted before bed and it helped my morning sugars. Cassie
  • Get out of bed and go for a 15 minute walk. Have your morning shower etc then do your sugars- they will be down by then. It was the only thing that worked for me! Mine were all over the place, it seemed surprisingly that carbs like bread didn’t affect my sugar levels too badly, but if I ate high fat content foods my sugars rocketed! Tasha
  • I am on my second time of GDM. On long acting insulin both times for high fasting. To be honest once I started the insulin it was less stressful and even though it’s meant to have worn off my post dinner readings are better (when eating the same dinners). Maybe it is because I am less stressed, who knows. I am definitely more relaxed about my diet this time, you don’t need to go too drastic, don’t go hungry, being pregnant is not the time to lose weight, just make smart carb choices. Things that work for others might not work for you so play around with your diet a bit. I had a 30wk growth scan today and bub is 45th percentile and exactly proportional to where growth was at the 20wk scan so I am happy with the way I am managing. I was so strict last time, I didn’t put on hardly any weight from diagnosis to birth and bub was just 3kgs. My next non GDM bub was .5kg larger! Bub’s sugars were fine post natal last time and mine went back to normal also. Good luck. Amy
  • Don’t eat carbs…. Lots of fruit and vege and meat (if you can eat meat) Kelly
  • Go see a naturopath. I did and he sorted my diet out so I didn’t have to go on insulin and ended up having a normal healthy pregnancy and natural birth. The diet was basically very high in protein & veg and low carbs. Going out for a brisk 30mins walk every morning helped keep my morning levels down too. Good luck, happy to send you the diet I used if you like Rebecca
  • I had GD and my resting sugar levels was over the 5 mark too. I had to go onto tablets 2 a night to get them down. I know how you feel when you are doing everything right and the levels are still high it sucks. Best of luck. Debbie
  • I have GD and as long as your sugars are 6.7 after lunch and that’s perfectly fine. Julietta
  • I was having the same issue with my morning levels being too high and when i asked the diabetes educator about it she told me it is hormonal and nothing you can do about it. Depending on how often its occuring you may need insulin. Sarah
  • I also had to have supper to help with my levels Sarah
  • I was put on insulin straight after my diagnosis it’s not that scary to be honest. Have been seen by a diabetes educator? As soon as my results came back I was seen by an DE and she explained everything to me what to do with my diet and explained everything about my insulin as well she also educated me how give myself insulin. Also I would see her straight after my check up with my OB and was monitored very carefully. Christie
  • normal levels are 4-8 so 5 isn’t that bad as far as I am aware anyway. Did your doctor tell you it was?? Sherree
  • I started wit the same problem and now I have been given the all clear for GDM at 36 wks. My trick funny enough was to eat nothing but fruit all day even tho its something tht ur not ment to do, so it jump started everything n it has been great ever since. so I think see wat u have eaten wen u have ur lowest levels n eat tht for a full day n see if it does the same Salena
  • I got diagnosed with it 4weeks ago and I just eat normal but smaller meals and cut a lot of sugar out,I still have chocolate,when I get headaches just a big of sugar helps get rid of them yay!!! my levels have been fine,walkkng helps a lot,which I don’t do though…I just have fruit and nuts during the day and cut out fizzy dribks and have lots of water. Shannon
  • I had the same issue, being only slightly over for the first daily reading. Turns out the banana I was eating for supper was too big, even though it was only medium sized. Portion size plays a part. I would do treadmill of an evening for 20 or so minutes and when I was having trouble with the morning reading I would walk for 10 minutes first thing in the morning and test half an hour later. Joanna
  • this is my second time having gd and the only things I can suggest are a smaller serve of food for tea add “free foods” things like cabbage are a free food they should’ve given you info on what foods to eat. Only drink water and do exercise after your meal even then your not guaranteed to lower levels your body works through the night and sometimes releases sugar. Lots of variables can lead to higher than normal levels such as being sick and stress. Good luck Tegan

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