I am coming up on the time of my pregnancy where I need to drink the nasty orange drink, have a blood test, and determine if I have pregestation diabetes. I’ve been running three to four times a week, but my eating hasn’t always been ideal. I hear all the time, “Oh, you definitely don’t have pregestation diabetes. You’re in great shape.” But I don’t really believe it.
I have two close friends who experienced pregestation diabetes. One just finished running a half marathon and has begun training for a whole one (she had pregestation diabetes two years ago with her son). The second friend was running every day – unwillingly, but she did it – and she also tested positive for pregestation diabetes.
So, yeah. I’m not 100 percent confident that I won’t have it either.
Pregnant women are tested for pregestation diabetes near the end of their second trimester. This is not Type I or Type II diabetes. This is a form of diabetes that comes up during one’s pregnancy and that gives mothers a higher risk of developing Type II diabetes later in life – like my mother. She had pregestation diabetes with me and was diagnosed with Type II when I was about 10.
Obviously, this is not an ideal condition to have. Not only does the mom have an increased risk of developing adult onset diabetes later in life, but risks to the baby are also at play. My two friends both had healthy, normal-weight babies, and my mother had the same experience.
However – all three of these women followed the doctor’s orders precisely.
A healthier diet came into play for all three of them. I remember my mom telling me how she would only eat what the doctor told her she could eat, and her reward every night was five Saltine crackers and a glass of diet coke.
My marathon-running friend told me about how every night she went to bed thinking about the food she could eat the next day. Breakfast for her generally was a tortilla with a spoonful of peanut butter. That was it. I wolf down an avocado, a handful of strawberries, and two eggs pretty much every day right now. As I told her, a tortilla with just a spoonful of peanut butter sounded like the beginnings of a snack. Not a whole breakfast. But that was what she needed to do to keep herself and her baby healthy, and she abided by the rules.
My other friend, who gave birth to a daughter in February, found herself at her own baby shower unable to eat hardly anything. Definitely not the fried food. Definitely not the king cake. I was so impressed with her restraint, but she shrugged it off, saying she’d do anything to keep her baby healthy.
Exercise also comes into play with pregestation diabetes. I don’t know about my mom, but I know my two friends went on walks or runs at least once a day.
Insulin may also have to be used with pregestation diabetes. My mom gave herself insulin shots every day, but her pregestation diabetes went away right after I was born.
Most of the time, that’s the only good thing about pregestation diabetes – it generally disappears at some point after the baby is born.
Also, it is manageable. It isn’t fun, it isn’t pretty, but it’s something that most women can handle with a little tweaking to one’s diet and exercise.
Most importantly, though, listen to your doctor. Go see a nutritionist even. Keep those blood sugar levels under control. If you’re not sure how to do that, ask for help. Not only is a wealth of information available online, but you have the Shrinking Jeans community to help as well as medical professionals.
And remember, you’re not alone in this battle. Meet up with other moms who are dealing with pregestation diabetes, too. Share stories – share recipes! And share the excitement of anticipating holding your sweet baby in your arms.
For more information about pregestation diabetes, visit:
Ovuline.com: Gestational diabetes during pregnancy