My first pregnancy was a smooth ride until 7th month when we found out I had failed my Glucose tolerance test. It was a shock to know I had gestational diabetes. I have always been a healthy eater and my diet had not changed during the pregnancy. & having been told that the culprit can be the placenta and its pregnancy hormone, made me angry.
I had to end up taking insulin 4 times a day until I went into labor as the diet suggested by dietitian did not help. Weekly appointments at the diabetes clinic, pricking myself 4 times a day and not eating what I want – it was all dreading my thought of having a second child. The third trimester felt like a never-ending ride though my daughter was born 2 weeks earlier than my due date.
But soon after she was born, my sugar levels went back to normal and everything went back to normal. My motherhood was joyful and honestly, I wanted to do it all over again and have a second baby. Crazy right! that right there is my mom brain that had changed my whole thought process. Well, I was pregnant again with my second child when my daughter was 10 months. This was not a planned pregnancy and the moment I got to know I had mixed feelings. I was happy but all these thoughts of going to deal with gestational diabetes and insulin made me crazy.
Not to forget, my dietitian had told me I might have to start insulin from day 1 for the second baby. Somehow I wanted to take control of this gestational diabetes this time over and decided to do certain things very differently. And this time around, I took 3 glucose tolerance tests – one at 12 weeks, one randomly at 18 weeks and one at 25th week. I passed all the three glucose tolerance tests with flying colors😁. Yes, I did it. And I cannot say how happy I am and cant wait to share my success story. Here are a few things I did differently this time around.
1. Watch your diet to avoid gestational diabetes!
I was very strict with my diet from day one. Of course, I made sure to take all the nutrients that are required and cut down on my carbs intake. Did you know diabetes is not just about sugar intake, its the whole carb and starch that is part of the diet that affects. I took Potato and white rice completely out of my diet. Substituted it with fibre-rich and protein food.
Believe me, this was very hard for a vegetarian like me but today I totally enjoy the perks of doing such a vigorous diet. Not to complain, I did enjoy cheat days where I ate what I craved for but that still avoided carb or starch in it. I can confidently say how badly potato alters the diet. We have stopped buying that vegetable at home. I replaced potatoes with chickpeas and still enjoyed all my favorite and delicious recipes. You can find lots of healthy recipes on my blog.
2. Stay Active & Exercise to avoid Gestational Diabetes.
Pregnancy is super exhausting. You have days where you cannot do a thing and just want to rest. Try and drag yourself for a walk or some trivial exercise at home. I was at moms place during my first trimester and I had all reasons to get pampered and enjoy – all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. But even on crazy days, I made sure to take a small walk or do yoga at home. Till date, I have not skipped a single day of workout. Not that I didn’t want to but I was dragged to be active subconsciously. Also thankful to have an active toddler who dragged me along everywhere and kept me super busy.
3. Replace Processed Food & Sugars with Healthy snacks.
It is very important not to skip any meal and eat every 2-3 hours when you are growing a human inside. Do not be scared to eat often. But be mindful of what you choose to eat. Replace biscuits, toasts with nuts and fresh fruits. I did not change my diet just during pregnancy. After my first experience with GD, we completely changed our grocery list. We stopped using starchy ingredients (for ex; say no to maida and embrace multigrain flour) and started replacing it with fibre rich food. One spoon of sugar in your coffee/ milk a day is totally ok when you avoid processed food and sweets.
4. Stay Calm & Think Healthy.
Your mindset also affects sugar levels. Stay calm and do not stress yourself. By healthy thoughts, I mean healthy recipes. 😃 Well, I am a foodie and for me to turn into a healthy eater was an awesome transition. I divert my mind and keep myself busy looking for healthy recipes and healthy options to modify my recipes.
5. Prepare yourself for the Worst.
By worst I mean prepare for insulin. After my experience, I like to say that it was all not that bad. Just the initial days were difficult to handle and I slowly got used to it. And look at it this way, even if you have to go for insulin it is just for a couple of months. When you are strong and prepared, it is less likely to feel disheartened. And who knows, your story might end up like mine the second time and you might be diabetes-free 😃.
Hope my tips help you to have a healthy pregnancy. Please feel free to reach out to me if you need more information on my diet.
I would be happy to share my diet chart. And definitely do share the post if you find it helpful! ❤