You have been told you have gestational diabetes, ideally you are seeing some one expert in the area quickly so everything is dealt with but what happens if you are not seeing someone soon, what should you do? There are some things that will get you started on the right path. Doing these simple things will go a long way to being on the right track.
First: Get information and understand what is going on, a good starting point would be other parts of this web site on gestational diabetes.
Second: Look to your food and nutrition intake but do not just cut down your food intake drastically. You need three meals and three snacks, the baby needs nutrition and you don’t want to starve the baby. Spread out your calories over three meals and take a mid morning, mid afternoon and a bedtime snack. Food taken in this way makes it easier for your pancreas to handle and less likely to result in high sugar numbers. Avoid sweet things and try to keep fat intake down. Another section of this web site has more information on diet if you want to see it.
Use water for thirst, cut out any sugary pop drinks and reduce juice consumption. Juices may be natural but they are high in glucose or fructose and should be kept to a minimum.
A 10 – 15 minute walk within an hour after meals will help to use up sugar and bring down the blood glucose value.
Third: Check if your pharmacist or people at your drug store can get you started measuring your blood sugar using a meter. Many of these professionals are trained to have expertise in diabetes. Usually you do not need a prescription for a meter or testing supplies and they are not too expensive. It is not nearly as painful as it sounds! The prescription may be needed to claim on insurance but hopefully it can be retroactive. Test before breakfast and either one or two hours after a meal, one hour is most common, so that when you see the diabetes team you will have blood sugar numbers to show them. It is much easier to see patterns (for you and your health care team) if you keep your numbers in a table form such as on the sheet below. If things are in target then you can feel reassured, if a little high watching the carbohydrate intake or walking after the meal may help. If the values stay high or are more than 15% above targets call your diabetes clinic and ask to be seen sooner.
GDM Monitoring PDF