Earlier this week I attended a class with 8 other pregnant women to go over how to manage our gestational diabetes. A lot of the information that I recieved I already knew, because I read and research and wanted to know what to do before the class (which was 10 days after my diagnosis). But I did learn some important things that I’m going to share in case it helps someone else.
1. You’re expected to eat several small meals throughout the day, eating about every 2 to 3 hours. Essentially – Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, bedtime snack.
2. Breakfast should be the smallest meal of the day – consisting of no more than 25-30 grams of carbs. This meal should also exclude fruit. It was explained to us that we shouldn’t eat fruit before 10 am (assuming that you get up earlier than that).
3. Lunch should be between 45 – 50 carbs and can include fruit.
4. Dinner should be between 45-50 carbs and can include fruit as well.
5. Snacks need to stay under 30 carbs
6. When it comes to testing your blood sugar you need to test 2 hours (1 hour for some – go by what you doctor has said) after the first bite of food that you take – not when the meal is completed.
7. Dinner shouldn’t be any later than 7 pm. Eating too late can mess with your fasting reading the next morning. Also, eating late means that you need to stay up so that you can test your dinner blood sugar – which is difficult to do when you’re full, and tired and it’s late (or at least it was for me).
8. We were told that artificial sweeteners should be avoided. These include: aspartame (Equal, Nutra Sweet), saccharin (Sweet ‘N Low) just to name a few. At the same time, we were told we could make a judgement call on Splenda and Truvia, but if we do use them it needs to be kept in moderation. Also, sugared sweeteners need to be avoided such as honey, agave nectar etc. Your body processes these exactly like sugar and it can raise your blood glucose levels.
9. Check food labels. If it’s really high in carbs and the serving size is small (meaning you can’t just eat half or a quarter), you should probably avoid it. Also, check the number of sugars there are in a food. 0-9 sugars are considered ok, anything over 10 should be avoided.
10. It’s recommended to stay away from sweets and treats the whole time you have gestational diabetes, but if you absolutely must have something, be smart about it and only do it when your blood sugar readings have been good and you’re reasonably sure that your treat won’t push you over.
I think that’s everything that I wanted to mention. It should be noted that I’m no where near an expert on this, and just reporting what was told to me. Above all you should do what your doctor and your own nutritionist tell you.