Dealing with a gestational diabetes diagnosis 

Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can come as a shock, but it is somewhat a blessing in disguise…to some! This is my journey with being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes, everyone’s story is different and things that worked for me may not for others and vice versa.

I truthfully did not know too much about gestational diabetes before being tested at 26 weeks during my first pregnancy, I 2-/ pretty laid back in the sense I thought I would have symptoms prior and was feeling ok considering so thought I would pass with flying colours. Food has not been my favourite thing during this pregnancy and I had somehow stayed below my prepregnancy weight throughout the first two trimesters whilst baby was thriving and growing. 

Little did I know I would fail the first hour test and get a call from my midwife not even an hour after I had taken the final blood test. The glucose test in Australia is done around 26 weeks and consists of 3 blood tests – one done at fasting, one done an hour after drinking the glucose drink and a final test two hours after drinking the glucose drink. During that time you are unable to move around too much or consume anything other than water.

Receiving that call to say I have failed by 0.5 on one of the tests shocked me, I can still remember standing there on the phone in OPSM with a sales lady trying to sell me new prescription glasses and trying not to burst into tears cause not only had I been diagnosed but I would also not be able to continue under midwife care, a scrambling of thoughts had automatically classified myself as ‘failed’. I had already failed as a mother and wife as even my husband was visably upset.

The news was dropped on me and I was told I would get a call from the OB team at the hospital for extra monitoring and also the diabetes team to start the process of monitoring my levels each day. I would also now be considered high risk and have to change my location for my appointments for the remainder of my pregnancy. I never did receive the call from the diabetes team that week and each day was having a break down wondering what am I meant to be doing, am I doing more harm but also maybe I’m not that bad if they had not called me in the minute the results were found so I continued to eat what I could whilst waiting for that next appointment.

A little over a week later I presented myself at the hospital for my first ‘high risk’ appointment and was told I would meet with a diabetes educator, dietician and the Endocrinologist – this is when the extra layer of fear came in as it was not one but 3 different people I had to see, but in reality it made sense as there was different parts to the diagnosed results.

So with my testing kit in hand and a list of carbohydrate portions I set off into the big bad world, the first couple of weeks were overwhelming trying to work out what my body could process with a good score as some days I could eat 2 slices of bread but the next day one slice of bread would bring the same score. After a few weeks of working out and listening to my body my scores were consistently low each day for the remainder of my pregnancy, so much so I got moved out of high risk care and only saw anyone about Gestational diabetes twice.

The day I gave birth to Miss P I was the same weight to before I got pregnant and surprisingly I had never felt healthier than when I was in my last trimester I was able to do a lot more than I did before even with a decent size bump. Now just over 5 weeks since I gave birth I am a good 12+ kilos lighter and looking forward to maintaining the same eating habits (with some tim tams thrown in during Breastfeeding) and also keeping in shape. I now have the bug to loose more weight so now that I have nearly hit my ‘recovery time’ I am excited to get back into it and push myself a little further.

Whilst the Diabetes was a contributor to my new lifestyle it was not the only factor but I do see it as a little bit of a blessing in disguise.

One piece of advice is talk it through and do not become obsessed with it. I did in the beginning and it drove my family mad! 

Looking back the following things helped majorly in keeping and maintaining a low score and also a weight gain free pregnancy.

– Removing juices and soft drinks from my diet – whilst they are allowed I found it was wasted calories and carbohydrates. I would have water and the odd hot chocolate sachet with water only.

– Portion Control Carbohydrates and other food groups in moderation.

– Increasing ‘free’ foods 

– Increasing water intake

– Going for a walk each day

These are what worked for me to keep my scores down, but everyone is different and has different symptoms, requirements and diagnoses. 

Do you have any tips to add for dealing with a Gestational diabetes diagnoses or loosing baby weight? 

Please do see a professional for an opinion about your situation. 

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