I gave some information about gestational diabetes and explained my diagnosis procedure in my previous post Pregnancy Diabetes (Gestational Diabetes) (info, diagnosis)
My gynecologist referred me to dietitian for an appropriate diet. When I mention a diet, never thing about something like you do for losing weight, staying hungry diets. It was an eat and drink all the day diet. I was hardly finishing my 6 meals (3 plain and 3 snacks).
Gestational Diabetes Diet
My dietitian prepared a diet appropriate for my weight which I was supposed to eat every 3-4 hours.
Basic aim was to interfere with sudden blood sugar changes. Only completely restricted food was white sugar (and other complex sugars like honey). I had a lot of bran-bread to eat. She gave me an interchange list for breads (like for soups, rice, pasta, etc.), however it was not advised to eat too much white carbohydrates. I had 3 portions of fruits to eat and I could pick whichever I’d like, being careful with portions. She told me that I need fats, so I did not need to buy light milk or meat products. However, she advised me not to eat too much fries and butter, since they have no use to anybody (she told me that i could eat Becel rather than butter).
I measured my blood sugar (with empty stomach and 2 hours after meal) following the diet for one week. If diet wouldn’t work for controlling my blood sugar levels, I would need insulin injections. My blood sugar levels were fine and I continued with the diet until I gave birth to Ilgaz.
Blood Sugar Monitoring /Glucose Meters
I was supposed to measure my blood glucose levels weekly. You can get your blood sugar monitored in pharmacies for 5 TRY. They use simple devices measuring with only one drop of blood from your finger. It seemed more feasible and convenient to get one device for myself. I bought one from Dogubank (Sirkeci, Istanbul). It was 90 TRY in total for device(30 TRY including 10 test strips), 50 extra strips and lots of needles(200 I guess). There were many brands with different prices. It is a shame and of course a marketing strategy that, strips are not standard. I mean, you have to buy same branded strips with the device you have. It is wise to choose a known brand in order to find strips everywhere. When you exclude the device, every measurement was costing only 1 TRY. I had the chance to prick fingers of every member of the family. You can organize bets on blood sugar levels for fun. The lowest blood sugar level gets the biggest piece from birthday cake 🙂
Healthier pregnancy and baby with gestational diabetes
You can end up with a healthier baby with gestational diabetes, and also reduce the side-effects of pregnancy. While my dietitian preparing my diet, she took care about all pregnancy needs together with my blood sugar problems. I was having all my calcium, vitamin, mineral and protein needs with a perfect routine. For some nutrients (like calcium), if yo do not get enough, baby will get it from you (bones). All my meals were scheduled, this helped me with organizing myself much better. With the help of this routine and also motivation to keep my blood sugar level steady, I exercised regularly until my doctor tells me to stop. These exercises had tremendous use protecting energy, balance during pregnancy and had a lot of help for my labor (i will write another post on exercise issue). My weight gain was ideal with the help of diet and exercises. It was no way possible for me to be so careful with my diet and organize my pregnancy time perfectly.
I searched about the issue as soon as I took the test results, like I always did for any question in my mind. I felt terrible reading that I could harm my-own baby. I called my doctor and asked “This is something bad and serious, isn’t it”. He answered as “Yes it is serious , but we can control it”. I was feeling better seeing low results of first set of tests. It is very convenient having the test device at home. I made a lot of tests until my next check-up to comfort myself. My doctor told me that everything is as it should be at my routine check-up, than I stopped worrying.
When something is said to be forbidden to eat (especially when you are pregnant), it doesn’t feel very good. Sweeteners are not recommended during pregnancy, since their effects on fetus are not known. When you can not have white sugar, and other sweeteners, it means you can not have any desserts. However it is for a limited period, and is a sacrifice(you do a lot of them anyway) for your baby. I was making the list of desserts to eat following delivery. Now chocolate and biscuits are usually enough for me, I have the sweetest of desserts with me all day.
Even though we have a lot of people with diabetes, it is not easy to be one in Turkey. We have very limited diabetic products on supermarkets. When you look at ingredients, almost everything includes sugar. I remember feeling bored from following diet when I was 8 months of pregnant. I went to the supermarket, looked all the shelves to find snacks and different food that will fit to my diet. I bought many salty snacks, and found a product which saved rest of my pregnancy. It was a 100% fruit made jar from different fruits, and how strange, it was shelved with regular jars(not with diabetic products). According to my calculations, 20 grams of it was equivalent to 1 portion of fruit, which was enough to thickly cover one slice bread.
Jelly the Belly (equivalent to 1 slice bread, 1 slice cheese, 1 portion of fruit)
Cover a slice of corn bread with Labne* and 100% fruit jar
Yummy yummy (equivalent to 1 slice bread, 1 slice cheese, 1 portion of fruit)
Slice half banana
Boil, peel and slice 2 chestnuts, mix with bananas
Mix labne* (app. 30 grams) with some milk to get a cream, pour on top of ingredients
Decorate with grinded nuts
*Labne: Labaneh, a kind of spreadable cheese, it is like yogurt
Questions and answers for pregnancy and parenting for mothers and mom to be
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