My Little Pregnancy Hiccup: Gestational Diabetes

I’m not a diabetic prior to pregnancy. But hello, I’m Ju Ann and I have been diagnosed with borderline Gestational Diabetes. I’ve got to be real careful about what I eat now, so here’s sharing tips on managing gestational diabetes.

So many thoughts quickly ran through my head when I was diagnosed. I was worried. Did I do something wrong to trigger this? Have I put my baby at risk? What’s next?

Just when I thought it’s going to be smooth all of my pregnancy, the hormones in my body decide to mess things up a little and produce insufficient insulin to process the sugar in my blood stream.

Click here to read all about the effect gestational diabetes has on a pregnant woman.

So Dr Tham, my gynae, told me because I’m a borderline case (my reading was 7.9), I do not have to prick myself daily to test the glucose levels in my blood (thank God!!) but I do have to be on the GDM diet which is a strict 6 small meals daily diet plan. He gave me some tips on managing gestational diabetes which I followed closely.

It was hard at first to find my rhythm, to find something that suits me. But after just a couple of days, I got the hang of it.

tips on managing gestational diabetes

Tips on managing gestational diabetes

It’s easy. The GDM diet is really all about:

– 6 small meals
– eating regularly and on time
– low GI foods
– eliminating the obvious bad foods like cake, chocolate, ice cream and the likes
– lots of vegetables
– controlled portions of protein and carbs

An example of what I eat:

❤ Breakfast: 2 slices of wholemeal bread and Melrose Almond, Brazil and Cashew Nut Spread (here) – Carbs + Protein

❤ Mid-morning: 1/2 bowl branflakes or low GI Special K cereal with lowfat milk – Carbs + Calcium

❤ Lunch: 12 tablespoons of rice, lots of vegetables and a palm sized (roughly the are excluding your fingers) portion of protein (egg/chicken/fish), and a small fruit serving (small apple/pear/12 strawberries) OR a bowl of noodle soup with less noodles and a palm sized portion of meat and lots of vegetables – Carbs + Protein + Fiber

❤ Mid-afternoon: 1/2 bowl branflakes or low GI Special K cereal with lowfat milk or a slice of toasted wholemeal bread (with nothing on it). Sometimes I skip this and drink a coffee with less sugar – Carbs + Calcium

❤ Dinner: A small bowl of pasta (equivalent to 12 tablespoons) with a palm sized portion of protein with salad (sauce on the side) OR 2 slices of bread with a palm sized protein as sandwich filling and salad OR similar to my lunch, and a small serving of fruit – Carbs + Protein + Fiber

❤ Supper: 1/2 bowl branflakes with greek yoghurt or any plain yoghurt. Sometimes I skip my fruit at dinner to add some sweetness to my sour supper – Carbs + Calcium

And there you have it. My day to day meal plan which I’ll have to stick to till I give birth.

It’s really not that hard. :) If you’re like me, keep it up. We’re all doing it for the good of our baby and our health! :) Here’s a tip!

Take low-GI  (Glycaemic Index) foods. Low-GI foods break down into glucose slower than High-GI foods, giving your pancreas more time to secrete insulin to process the glucose. :) Try to include at least a lower GI food in all your meals/snacks so as not to cause a sudden spike of glucose in your blood.

One week into this diet plan, I have not gained any weight and have in fact lost about 0.4kg (which could be just the machine difference between gynae office and home scale).

And I am feeling really good too. When I have my lunch, I might still be hungry but that’s ok because I know, shortly after, I’ll be entitled to a mid-afternoon snack! The only real challenge here is remembering to eat especially when I’m busy.

The only problem I encountered during this plan was once, over a weekend when I woke up late and it kinda messed up my eating schedule. I went out with just breakfast and my mid-morning snack at 2pm and felt really really dizzy and faint at 3pm. It’s a condition called Hypoglycaemia whereby the glucose level in your blood is excessively low. If that happens to you, grab a sweet drink immediately to provide relief. It’s dangerous to experience the symptoms of Hypoglycaemia when you are pregnant.

Although this is called the GDM diet, I kinda think it manages the weight gain during pregnancy really well and keeps my hunger at bay. That also means less snacking, and less binge’ing! :)

I have gained 8kg so far and hope to keep within 10kg till my due date. Do you have other tips on managing gestational diabetes to share? Please let me know!

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