5 March 2016

Pregnancy - Dealing with gestational diabetes

I have been planning to do a series of pregnancy posts to share my experience during pregnancy and also to answer questions that any of my readers might have. I am starting with gestational diabetes as one of my readers, Anjali Sengar, particularly asked for this when I announced Varaa's arrival.
Source: Google

What is gestational diabetes and what you need to do?
Gestational diabetes means high sugar levels in a pregnant woman as the production of insulin is hampered by the hormones produced by the woman. A woman would be more at risk of gestational diabetes if 
- she is above 30 years of age
- there is a family history of diabetes
- she has a sedentary lifestyle during pregnancy
- she smokes
These are the main reasons. Of course, a woman could get gestational diabetes even without any of the above reasons. 

Given our hectic lifestyle, it is now compulsory for every pregnant woman to get a Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) done in the sixth month of pregnancy to check whether she has diabetes. Please keep this in mind and insist that this test is done even if the gynecologist does not advise it. I am saying this cause my gynecologist told me not to get this test done despite the fact that my father has diabetes. This is one of the reasons that I changed doctors in the seventh month of my pregnancy (but that is a topic of a separate post - how useless my first gynecologist was).

If the GTT suggests that you have diabetes, then your gynecologist will call you immediately and will tell you what needs to be done which would include quite some changes to lifestyle and diet.

What is the impact on the baby?
- Due to high glucose levels in the mother, the baby gets extra glucose if the mom has gestational diabetes. So the fetus would be larger than normal if you have gestational diabetes. 
- If you have gestational diabetes, there is a higher chance that you would need to deliver through a C- section. This is either cause the baby is quite big or the diabetes could lead to complications
- There is a chance of death of the fetus if diabetes is not detected on time and controlled. Hence it is very important that every pregnant woman check for diabetes in the sixth month
- There is a big possibility of you going into labor earlier when you have diabetes. Though my doctor was going to induce me into labor 2 weeks before my due date, Varaa decided to come even earlier than this :-) So please take leave from work 2-3 weeks before your due date so that you can relax and be prepared for an early delivery
- Baby has higher risk of diabetes once it grows up. So it would be best to teach the baby a healthy lifestyle from the beginning

Dealing with gestational diabetes
Regular check up - Once you know that you have diabetes, the best thing is to get your sugar levels checked every week. Ideally, the fasting sugar should be below 90 and non-fasting (2 hours after meal) should be below 110. If sugar levels are below these, then everything is fine and there is not much to worry about
- Diet control - The way to control sugar is through diet control and exercise. For diet control, remove sugar, rice and fat (butter, cheese, ghee, etc.) from your diet completely. Also, reduce carbohydrates (wheat, bread, potatoes, etc.) as much as possible. From my experience, I realized that the bext breakfast option I had was egg whites. These are full of protein and have no carbs. Please throw away the yoke which is full of fat.
- Exercise - Along with diet control, exercise is a must to control the sugar levels. And walking is the best form of exercise. After every meal, a 20-25 minutes walk helps to control sugar very well. The best thing to do is have small meals every 2 hours and a 20 minute walk after every meal. This routine helped me to control sugar till I reached the ninth month. Please note that in the ninth month, it becomes difficult to completely control sugar levels due to the changes happening in your body (hormones, etc.) as the body prepares for delivery. This is the reason the doctor might decide to deliver the baby before your due date and before you go into labor as high sugar levels would be risky for the baby. As long as you have completed 37 weeks, there is no need to worry if the doctor decides to deliver your baby earlier.
- Insulin - If diet control and exercise are ineffective in controlling your sugar levels, then the doctor would put you on insulin. This is of course a tiresome option, but best to go with it if the doctor advises it. Remember that you are doing this for the baby and once the baby is here, you can forget about all this (98% of the time, the diabetes will go away once the baby is out. But you remain at a higher risk of getting diabetes later on life. Also, you will inevitably have diabetes in your future pregnancies)

PS: I had some other complications during my pregnancy such as asthma, single artery umbilical cord, etc. So if you want more information on these or anything else to do with pregnancy, please leave me a comment or send me an email and I will do a post on it. I remember the confusion and fear I experienced when I found out about these complications and would want to help others having similar issues.


  1. This is such an important informative post Dear. I totally understand how and what you feel. I have had gone through too many things all alone during pregnancy. No complications except that had a breach and ended up having c-sections (both the times), and had to do everything (yes, everything from pregnancy care till after birth care) all alone. Except that my husband was helping me out. So even I have zillions of information and experiences to share:)

    I love this post. And equally looking forward to read more from your experiences. Take care sweety. We learn so many new things with each pregnancy!!

    New Post:http://www.thepositivewindow.com/2016/03/4-must-do-things-to-stay-motivated.html

    1. Thanks for your encouraging comment :)

  2. interesting post:) http://www.swiatwkolorzeblond.com/

  3. Beautiful post dear! I like this a lot.

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  4. oh God! Thank you for sharing this because it's such an important informative post that should help women.

    Vildana from :

  5. very informative post
    I'd love to know your opinion on my new post
    fashion blogger italia

  6. Wow, great info. I know a few friends that had gestational diabetes but thankfully were fine after pregnancy. Glad you are doing ok and great idea to share this to help others.


  7. Hi,
    Followed you already. Lovely blog. Hope you can follow back. Thanks for the invite. Stay gorgeous and hope you are fine.


  8. Take car dear..i know it can get really difficult on some days..but stay strong n blessed !

  9. I like this a lot. Thank you for sharing dear!

    Style For Mankind

  10. Although this a topic that's not really for me at this moment, I've learned something new and I'll keep this my mind when the time comes ;)
    Of course we can follow each other, I'm already following you on GFC and G+ :)

    Take care!


  11. This is a very informative and useful post!
    I've learned a lot!

  12. Thanks a lot Rosh for sharing such a lovely & helpful post on my request.. I am in 8th month of my pregnancy.. It’s my first pregnancy & my doc wanted me to go for GTT.. My reports were normal but I still wanted to know everything about the gestational diabetes. Your article really help a lot :)

    1. Happy to know it helped Anjali :)

  13. great post! follow on GFC?

  14. My nephews wife had this issue with her first pregnancy, his son was born early and was of course a preemie... Thankfully he is very healthy and doing well. She had her second pregnancy without incident but it took her almost 5 years to want to try again... it was pretty scary for them... I hope you and your family are doing well xox

    1. Yup we are now :) Am glad to be able to eat anything I like again :D

  15. Great post

    Love Vikee

  16. thankfully I didn't have this issue while I was expecting.But u sailed through it seems likeit.

    1. Didnt sail, but managed to get through it ... whew!

  17. Anonymous11.3.16

    That seems like a lot to go through with pregnancy, must have been really tough. It's nice of you to share this with people though as it might help them too!

    Raindrops of Sapphire

  18. Very interesting post, thanks for sharing


  19. Amazing post, dear! :) Do you want to follow each other? If yes, please follow me with GFC and Google, instagram, write a comment
    and I follow you back :)

    With love.

  20. Hi! nice blog :) would you like to follow each other via GFC?? let me know and I follow you back :)

  21. Very insightful and timely info. Thank you for sharing and do take care dearie 😊

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  24. I want to say that this post is awesome, nice written.