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Gestational Diabetes Tips

Posted by Kailee Freitas on

All my life, I've been an active person, ate pretty healthy, and never really had to deal with weight problems... so when I got pregnant with Lyric, it never crossed my mind that gestational diabetes could actually become a real thing for me.  It doesn't run in my family and it just didn't make sense.

Explanation: my doctor told me that women with PCOS (polycystic ovaries) have a greater chance of developing gestational diabetes when pregnant.  Insulin resistance and PCOS go together.

Sooooo, at 25 weeks with my son, Lyric, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  AND, just yesterday, I found out I have it again with my current baking baby.

With Lyric, I really wanted to make sure I did EVERYTHING I could to make sure that it didn't affect him or cause him any complications.  It worked- he was born one day before his due date, 7 lbs. 6 oz., and showed NO signs of being affected once he was born.  Since I'm prepping to do the same for baby #2, here's some tips I gathered:

  • Breakfast is so important.  Eat a good amount of protein (at least 30g) to help offset the long night of not eating.  I'm a teacher, so cooking in the mornings is tough.  Premier Protein (can get at Costco or Sams Club) has 30g of protein and actually tastes pretty good!  I make a smoothie using one of these, bananas, peanut butter, and ice.  Or I'll switch it up and put fruit and spinach instead of the banana/PB.
  • Eat smaller meals every 2 to 3 hours.  It will help to keep your blood sugar levels from fluctuating too much.  Fill your meals and snacks with protein! With bigger meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), I ate around 45-60 g carbs, but tried for lots of protein.  REMEMBER: you are growing a child and still NEED some types of carbs.  Don't cut them out completely - just make sure they are good carbs!
  • Eat a protein filled snack before bed.  It will help to keep your blood sugar stable over the long night of no eating.  This is also the snack time that I would allow myself to increase the amount of carbs (i.e. ice cream)

I'm not normally a "sweets" person, but during pregnancy, I really love my chocolates, li hing gummies, and bobaaaaaa omg.  You definitely have to limit your intake of these especially if you have GD, but I've found that my body regulates these types of sugars better on days that I've been eating a lot of protein, drinking lots of water, and managing to get some type of exercise (even if it's chasing my 16 month old around the park).  

Now, those that live in Hawai'i are surrounded by carbs and sugars.  It's pretty difficult to eat all the foods we love and still follow the GD guidelines.  It's okay to eat a malasada every once in awhile (just surround it with protein foods and maybe go for a nice walk after).  

Here's some tips for local foods:

  • Zippys (carb count):
    • Asian Chicken Salad 47g
    • Fried Chicken (3pcs) 23g
    • Original Chili (no rice- 8 oz) 25g
    • Oxtail Stew (14oz) 27g BUT LOTS OF PROTEIN!
  • L&L (carb count):
    • Healthy Garlic Ahi plate 38g
    • Healthy Garlic Shrimp plate 41g
    • Healthy BBQ Chicken plate 42g
    • Scoop white rice 33g
    • Scoop macaroni salad 23g
  • green papaya or mango = FREE food!  Each as much as you want!  Now, this is JUST the fruit.  You have to count the carbs of whatever you add to it.
  • Of all fruits, berries have the least carbs!  
  • Chinese food & Korean food = very carb loaded; would send my sugars through the roof
  • Jamba & acai bowls = very carb loaded!
  • Pieology Cauliflower Crust Pizza = Good source of veggies & protein with not many carbs!  I eat here for dinner when we don't cook.
  • The Counter (burger in a bowl) = AMAZING source of protein with low carb count, so you could have a small dessert.... I go for a milkshake with my burger in a bowl :) 

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