Confessions of a Middleagedmom

surviving motherhood in the “middle ages”

Gestational Diabetes Class December 1, 2007

Filed under: baby,family,food,moms,pregnancy — middleagedmom @ 2:19 pm
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So today I attended my 3+ hour gestational diabetes class at the hospital. Honestly, I was a little bummed about attending since I wanted to attend a craft fair but I have to remind myself that this is important for my health and the baby.

The first half of the class was conducted by a registered nurse. She basically went over what gestational diabetes was and how it affects you and your baby. She also gave us the statistics of getting type I or type II diabetes after having gestational diabetes. We watched a video too. Then came the dreaded “finger pricking” lesson. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought, esp. after going through fertility treatments in the past. The only thing that can get confusing is using the meter correctly – when to do a coding and when to do a control test.  Let’s face it…it can be a little daunting.  Of course we did a practice test so that we could learn how to use the lancet properly then use the meter correctly, esp. making sure you draw enough blood.  We were also taught how to record our blood sugar levels in a little booklet. So we’re drawing blood 4 times a day. 1 draw is first thing in the morning (approx. 8-10 fasting), then 1 draw approx. 2 hours after the start of your meal.  So, my first practice reading (after breakfast) was 85. I think the range is 90-120 for after meals. I asked the nurse what if you get a reading below the range like I did and she said that I could probably eat a little more. Oh, the nurse also gave us a chart showing our pre-pregnancy weight and our BMI (Body Mass Index). She suggested that if we have a high BMI we may consider joining Weight Watchers after we give birth.

The 2nd half of the class was spent with a nutritionist. We watched a video on foods and counting carbs. We went over a booklet that covers carbs, proteins, fat, free foods, etc. Basically, we learned about portion size/control and amount of carbs in your meal. We were given a basic meal plan telling us how many carbs we can have at each meal and snack. So for me, I can have 45g(3 carbs) at breakfast, 15g(1 carb) for snack, 60g/(4 carbs) at lunch, 15g(1 carb) for snack, 60g(4 carbs) at dinner, and 30g(2 carbs) for bedtime snack. Geez, it’s a lot of counting and recording.

I guess it is a matter of making this a habit. I think the hardest part is watching your portion size and reading labels. Believe me, the portions are smaller than you think. For example, 1 small apple (approx. 1-2″ in diameter) is 1 carb. That’s pretty small. I also didn’t realize that all breads are the same, whether white or wheat. 1 slice of bread = 1 carb. I’m sure it’s still better to eat wheat rather than white for the fiber benefits.

After the class, we were served lunch. The lunch consisted of lettuce w/dressing, fruit cup (mostly melons), meatloaf w/gravy, mashed potatoes, diet jello, skim milk, and hot tea. A packet of Equal was included. The total carbs for this lunch was 57g.  Frankly, I couldn’t eat the whole lunch. I was hungry but let’s fact it hospital food is pretty bland.  So I guess technically, I had less carbs since I didn’t eat my whole tray of food.  So my blood sugar levels after lunch (2 hours after the start of lunch) was 93.  That’s pretty good.

Oh, one more thing that I learned. It’s okay to have Equal or Splenda but not Sweet ‘n Low. Apparently, saccharin which is in Sweet ‘n Low can cross the placenta. Also, one of the handouts says not to have some other artificial sweetners like manitol, sorbitol, and xylitol. I think a lot of these sugar substitutes are used in pastries, cookies, and muffins that are considered sugar-free.

Since it’s the holiday season, they did say that they realize that we may eat some sweets but we were warned to limit them.  Tough job!

So what’s the gist of all this, watch your portions, limit your carbs, and exercise. Oops, of course, monitor your blood sugar. I’ll keep you updated of my progress.

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13 Responses to “Gestational Diabetes Class”

  1. Ruth Says:

    oh what a tough season to be self-controlled! i had gestational diabetes with my second, and monitored really closely with the third as to “pass the test.” i’m chinese, and i’ve found chinese food to be among the WORST for gestational diabetes–all the sugar and starch. the good news is…when i stuck to the carb limits on the ADA diet, i actually kept my pregnancy weight gain low, and felt really good. you’re doing great!

  2. middleagedmom Says:

    Hey Ruth,

    Thank you so much for your words of encouragement! At first I was a little sad about it all esp. since it’s the holidays. But, thank God for His grace and strength to help me get through it.

    By the way, I enjoyed your post about cleaning house…it got me thinking about my cluttered room.
    You are always an encouragement and example! God bless you!

  3. interesting, funny I read about the Splenda thing too yesterday.

    I am a WW lifer. And I don’t do ALOT of refined sugar as a rule BUT the pink stuff I’m told is REALLY bad.

    I do pink stuff and drink diet sodas BUT not like I used to. But the pink stuff is being REPLACED immediately.

  4. middleagedmom Says:

    i guess not all artificial sweetners are the same, esp. the “pink stuff”

    wow, a WW lifer…that’s great! that means you met
    your goals. congratulations! i know some people who did great on WW too.

  5. I lost 47 the first time around and 49.6 the second. It’s an ongoing battle tho. Ever since my 30s, but WW does work and a good place to start for sound nutrition. I have always wondered why they can’t adapt for pregnant women. Absent the pink stuff and all? It’s a good foundation.

  6. middleagedmom Says:

    Wow! Great job with the weight loss through WW.
    I am truly impressed!I may have to look into it after the baby arrives.

    Hooray, glad to hear you’re absent the pink stuff!
    It’s tough not to use some artificial sweetners, huh?
    Right now I only use Splenda and sparingly too.

  7. middleagedmom Says:

    Oops, I did want to mention that do drink diet coke with Splenda. Sometimes I do drink other types of diet sodas which use that other artificial sweetner, but I try to limit it. Let’s face it…I guess I am
    kind of a sugar junkie.

  8. Emily Says:

    Oh, what a terrible season not to be able to really enjoy desert!!! I really enjoy the pink stuff and missed that a lot while I was pregnant. Nine months can seem like such a long time when you’re going though this stuff.

  9. middleagedmom Says:

    Hi Emily,

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words! Yes, the holiday season makes it extra challenging but
    I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    I have approx. 2 more months to go so if I can stick to this meal plan I’ll be happy and so will my baby.

  10. teresa Says:

    Just curious, where did you take this class….it sounds like mine!

    • middleagedmom Says:

      Hey Teresa,

      I actually took the class at my local hospital.
      I’m sure a lot of hospitals and health centers in most communities have similar classes.

      Hope the class was helpful to you. How did you do with your gestational diabetes?

  11. Tiffani Says:

    This is my first baby and about two weeks ago my Dr. told me
    I have gestational diabetes and I’m sad. lol. All I crave is icecream (Which normally I don’t care too much for.) and I don’t think I can have it. Sometimes I want to cry. lol. Any suggestions?

    P.S. I manage a Candy/Fudge/Icecream store.

    • middleagedmom Says:

      I totally understand! Are you going to attend a class or get help from a nutritionist?

      I am a total sweet eater so it was really hard for me. I also love my carbs too. The one thing that’s really
      good about watching your diet is that you tend to eat healthier for your baby.

      If you do have gestational diabetes and you have to check your blood sugar then that will help you
      monitor your eating. I did eat sweets occasionally. Sometimes it would affect my blood sugar but sometimes it
      wouldn’t. It all depends on what you’re eating and how much. I just wouldn’t overdo it. It was hard because
      I was pregnant around the holidays. It also helps if you exercise or at least go walking. If I ate a little more carb than I was supposed to, I would try and go for a walk. Once in a while, I would have high numbers but it wasn’t very often. Monitoring really keeps you accountable. If you’re going to eat ice cream maybe eat just a little to satisfy your craving. I mean a little. I also had to be careful of what kind of sugar substitutes I used.

      Remember you’re doing it for the baby. I know it’ll be hard since you manage a sweets shop. You can do it!

      Keep me updated on your progress! Congratulations on your pregnancy! What a blessing it is to have a baby in your life!


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