When I was pregnant with my first daughter I was so naïve about pregnancy and all things relating to it. I believed the commercials where a woman sits on her couch, resting her feet; with a half gallon of rocky road ice cream and a spoon perched gently on her rounded belly. I thought that pampering myself during pregnancy meant I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and not suffer any negative side affects. After all, isn’t that what first trimester cravings are for? I learned later on the painful truth that I had been completely wrong. I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes.
Reason #5: Obesity is to blame
Well yes and no. Obesity, while rampant in America, obviously doesn’t affect all pregnant women, so to lay the blame solely on it’s shoulders would be like saying spoons are responsible for making us eat. Obesity does raise your risk of Gestational Diabetes. Therefore, it is in your best interest to be healthy before getting pregnant.
Reason #4: Lack of movement/exercise
We’ve all seen her. The woman who looks like a stick from behind, and then she stops to window shop, slowly turns to the side and holy cow, she’s nine months pregnant and ready to go. Yeah, that wasn’t me either, and truthfully most women are going to need some form of exercise while they are pregnant. Walking is great if you weren’t an active person before you became pregnant. If you were active before, most of your activities can be continued during pregnancy. *Be sure to consult your physician about your activity level and any concerns you may have.*
Reason #3: Diet
I know that just saying the word ‘diet’ makes most women cringe, but I’m not talking about a specific diet; where you eat crackers and soda water or something strange like that. Your general overall intake of food is vitally important, particularly during pregnancy. Being pregnant, especially during the first trimester, can be a roller coaster and really good days and really crappy ones. Some women are even lucky enough to pull an all crappy first three months! Whether your having great first trimester or one from you-know-where, calories become the lifeblood of your baby’s growth so make sure to choose the essentials.
Reason #2: Eating for Two
This ties into reason number three and is completely bogus. Most women consume plenty of calories for themselves and a growing baby without adding anything extra to their diet. That, “little white lie” about needing the extra calories because your baby needs to grow big and strong, is what leads women down this path from the start. If you honestly feel like you’re starving, find protein sources; cheese, Greek yogurt or a glass of milk to satisfy those urges to binge.
Reason #1: Sugar
While most of you may think I’m talking about the Snickers bar you’re munching on, I am. However, processed sugar consumption, isn’t the only element to Gestational Diabetes, of which you need to be mindful. Simple carbohydrates: bread, pasta, crackers, and white potatoes, to name a few are just as bad for your body. Pregnancy is a vast hormone dump and rewrites everything you knew about your body before you were expecting. Too many simple carbs while your pregnant, and you’ll pack on more pounds than you may have thought possible. If you have a craving for pancakes in the morning, eat them with some bacon, sausage or some other form of protein. By combining your sugar and protein together, you will cut down on the amount of sugar that gets processed into your body.
These five reasons, obviously aren’t all the factors that go into determining whether or not you’ll suffer from Gestational Diabetes. However, they are a nice start to learning how to avoid the disease completely. During your second trimester, you’ll be given a One-Hour Blood Glucose test to see how well your body handles a large amount of sugar. This test will determine if you don’t have Gestational Diabetes. If your numbers come back high, you’ll be sent for a Three-Hour test which will determine more accurately, whether or not you have this issue. If you do, please consult a nutritionist for specific ways to control your diabetes. Also keep a food journal handy when you sit down to eat, it will pay dividends in helping you track what you eat, and how often. Most importantly, don’t over-think it. Nine months will go by faster than you think, and before long you’ll have a sweet baby to snuggle.
Sources: Personal Experience