Learning you are pregnant can put you on an overwhelming emotional roller coaster that lasts for nine months. Finding out you also have developed gestational diabetes beginning at week 24 of pregnancy makes you literally stop in your tracks.

gestational diabetes and what to do if you're diagnosedWithin hours of the diagnosis, most women are emptying out their kitchens of any sweetened beverages and carb latent food.  I can honestly say that pregnant patients are my best patients, because another life depends on theirs. 

In the meantime until you are able to meet with your CDE, here are some tips that will help control glucose levels.

  1. No regular soda, no regular juice, no sweet tea, no lemonade. The only thing that you should be drinking is water or milk.  Your goal is 3-4 cups/day of milk. 
  2. No fruit at breakfast 
  3. Avoid sweets, desserts, honey, sugar etc. 
  4. You can still have fruit and starch, but the question is how much are you eating and what else are you having with it. Pregnant women need carbohydrates. Your baby needs carbohydrates. You cannot cut out all your carbohydrates.  Pregnant women need about 40-50% of their calories from carbohydrates each day. So for example if someone is eating 2000 calories/day that is 200-250g of carbohydrates per day.  Which sound like a lot but looking at the following meal plan, it is not that much. (2)

Example day

Breakfast 

1 slice of whole wheat toast  15 g
1 cup milk                                  12g
1 egg   
1 slice of cheese                                    
1 tsp Olive Oil 

Snack 

String cheese 
18 almonds 
6 crackers                                   15g

Lunch 

½ cup chick peas                      15g 
1/3 cup quinoa                          15 g 
Salad unlimited
3 oz. chicken 
Salad dressing 
1 small piece of fruit                15g 
1 cup milk                                  12g

Snack 

1 small fruit                                15g 
1 tbsp. PB                                    3g
4 oz. yogurt                                 7g

Dinner 

5 oz. meat 
2/3 cup rice or pasta or quinoa         30g
Unlimited non-starchy vegetable
1 cup milk                                             12g 
1 tsp Olive oil or butter

Bed time snack 

1 cup milk                12g 
1 slice toast            15g 
1 slice melted cheese

Total Carbs: ~ 193 grams of carbohydrate 

  1. Remember the plate method, especially when eating away from home. ½ the plate should be non-starchy vegetables, the other half divided between starch and protein 
  2. 5-10 minute walks as able after meals can help your two hour after glucose reading.  Glucose goals as per the American Diabetes Association (1)
  • Before a meal (pre-prandial): 95 mg/dl 
  • 1-hour after a meal (postprandial): 140 mg/dl or less
  • 2-hours after a meal (postprandial): 120 mg/dl or less
  1. When testing 1 hour or 2 hour after meals, remember not to eat in between those hours, as it will affect your glucose levels. 
  2. Always bring your glucose logs to your OB appointment. 
  3. Schedule with a Registered Dietitian or Certified Diabetes Educator to receive specific, customized information that meets you and your baby’s needs

References: 

1. American Diabetes Association, 2