Using a Gestational Diabetes Tracking Sheet

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, one of the most important parts of your treatment and management is constant monitoring. Aside from having a healthy diet and regular exercise, you should also regularly monitor your blood sugar levels before and after you eat. This can be done through a gestational diabetes tracking sheet, which enables you to record your blood sugar levels taken by a glucometer, which can be used as a reference for your subsequent checkups. Using a gestational diabetes tracking sheet helps your doctor determine whether you are responding positively to the current treatment or not, in which case your doctor needs to adjust your treatment in order to properly manage your condition.

Contents of a Gestational Diabetes Tracking Sheet

It is very easy to make your own gestational diabetes tracking sheet, as long as you know what it contains. You can do a gestational diabetes tracking sheet in Microsoft Word by making tables with several rows and columns. However, an easier way to create one is through Microsoft Excel, since it already comes with ready-made tables that you can customize according to your needs.

You can create a weekly or monthly gestational diabetes tracking sheet depending on how long you want to track your blood glucose. Write down all the days and dates on the first column of your tracking sheet, and then devote another column for specifying the time when you took the glucose reading. Ideally, you should have glucose readings in the morning when you wake up, before and after breakfast, before and after lunch, before and after dinner, and by the time that you go to bed. If you are using an Excel file, you can add a row for averaging your daily glucose readings found in your gestational diabetes tracking sheet. This way, it is easier for you to keep track whether or not your treatment regimen for gestational diabetes is successful.

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Gestational Diabetes Tracking Sheets and Apps Online

If you find it tedious to create your own gestational diabetes tracking sheet, you can opt to download your own gestational diabetes tracking sheet from several sites that offer them. For instance, the Diabetic Connect community offers free gestational diabetes tracking sheets which can also be used by those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. The official Diabetic Connect Blood Sugar Log is good for five weeks of monitoring, which is already good for a month. It is perfect for pregnant women since you can monitor your blood glucose levels for each month of your pregnancy. It even has average glucose computations and charts so that you can easily determine the effectiveness of your diet plan, exercise regimen, and medications.

If you want a modern gestational diabetes tracking sheet that you can carry with you then we have created one that is available for purchase on Amazon in a Journal form with all the necessary things you need as an on the go soon to be mom.

This gestational diabetes tracking sheet and journal includes directions on how to use it, areas to record meals, intakes and blood sugars, how you are feeling and any medications you are taking.

Go check it out here it is in my Series of gestational diabetes books called “Baby Steps for Gestational Diabetes”

Controlling Your Gestational Diabetes – 3 Tips For The Best Outcomes

Tips For Controlling Your Gestational Diabetes

controlling your gestational diabetesYou hold back the fear in your heart when you prick your finger, hoping that it won’t be too high.  Your heart soars or sinks, depending on the number.  You feel guilty about it and wonder what you might have eaten to make it go wrong.

Never fear, you have another day and another meal to get it right.  You do need to get your gestational diabetes under control, though.  It’s important.

1.  Following a meal plan can make a world of difference. Instead of always thinking about what you cannot have, you can plan and eat those things that support you and your child growing in your womb.

2.  Walking for just 15 minutes 3 times a day will bring your blood sugar down.  Your best times to walk are right after a meal, as your system is breaking down the blood sugar, your muscles start to use it better and bring the glucose out of your blood stream and into your cells.  That’s where it is supposed to be anyway.

3.  Reduce your stress.  Always beating up on yourself will never improve your health or your well being.  You will make a mistake or two, you will be tempted to eat a donut, and you will have a high blood sugar.  You are not perfect, but you are getting better every day.  Stress increases blood sugar levels too!

If you are searching for more information on controlling your gestational diabetes and keeping your baby and you healthy then please sign up for my free EBOOK which you will also get my weekly newsletter.

For a complete gestational diabetes meal plan buy my book here from Amazon, your trusted source for purchasing anything!

Mathea Ford RD/LD USA

Does Gestational Diabetes Get Worse With Subsequent Pregnancy?

Gestational Diabetes Subsequent Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a condition characterized by increased levels of glucose in the bloodstream during pregnancy. This is due to the fact that pregnancy produces hormones that increase insulin resistance, thus preventing glucose from entering the cells and being utilized into energy. I can affect gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancy!

gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancyOne of the worries that women have over gestational diabetes is its effect on their subsequent pregnancies. The first pregnancy with gestational diabetes is already difficult, so suffering from it the second and third time around is definitely something you would not want to look forward to. Unfortunately, studies have shown that those who develop gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy have a risk for developing this same condition in their subsequent pregnancies.

The study published by the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology online that the risk of developing gestational diabetes increases in each subsequent pregnancy, although there is no clear proof that it actually worsens with every occurrence. The risk increases by 13% every pregnancy, but if the pattern is broken, it only increases by 6%. For example, those who had gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy have a 13% chance of getting it the second time. If she had the same condition for the second time, the chance to get it again the third time increases to 26%. On the other hand, if the woman had gestational diabetes during her first pregnancy but not during her second pregnancy, her chance of suffering from the same condition during her third pregnancy decreases to 6%. All of these figures are in comparison with a woman who did not have gestational diabetes during her first pregnancy. Hence, having a healthy lifestyle is of adamant importance in order to prevent the development of gestational diabetes the first time.

Risk factors and risk reduction methods-gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancy

The biggest risk factor for the development of gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus has something to do with lifestyle factors. Those who love eating sweets and have sedentary lifestyles are the ones most at risk of getting gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Those who are overweight or obese also have increased chances of developing gestational diabetes. Hence, risk reduction strategies are focused on proper counseling on lifestyle modifications, such as promoting a healthy diet, incorporating exercise in one’s daily routine, and reducing and maintaining weight.

Aside from counseling, early identification of gestational diabetes is also important so as to immediately control blood sugar levels and prevent its adverse effects on both the mother and the baby. Pregnant women should have a schedule for prenatal care so that their doctors can monitor their blood sugar levels and provide appropriate solutions to their healthcare problems.

Also, women who developed gestational diabetes during their first pregnancy should request for screening for type 2 diabetes mellitus after six weeks postpartum. Their healthcare provider can help them modify their risk of developing gestational diabetes subsequent pregnancy and type 2 diabetes mellitus later on in life.

To receive more information on gestational diabetes and its causes, risk factors, prevention, and treatment, you can sign up for our email newsletter here or for a gestational diabetes meal planner click here.

Why Should I Care if I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Why Should I Care if I Have Gestational Diabetes?

Since gestational diabetes only occurs to pregnant women, most women have no idea what this means. Although many are familiar with what diabetes is in general, they do not know what to expect when it comes to gestational diabetes. Questions plague the mind of a woman who is newly-diagnosed with gestational diabetes: Is it the same as the common type 2 diabetes? What are its effects on me and my baby? Should I be alarmed? Should I even care? The answer to the last question is very simple: Yes, you should care. Just like any other types of diseases, you should take some precautionary measures if you are diagnosed with this condition. In order to help you understand the gravity to the situation, here are some information on what gestational diabetes is.

What is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that manifests only during pregnancy. Just like the more commonly known diabetes type 2, gestational diabetes involves an increase in blood glucose or sugar levels. This is because the body cannot produce adequate amounts of insulin to match the glucose intake of the pregnant woman, since a pregnant woman’s insulin needs is multiplied to two or three times the normal insulin requirement. Moreover, a pregnant woman releases certain hormones that antagonize the action of insulin. Hence, control of blood sugar is important for women with gestational diabetes.

What are the effects of gestational diabetes?

So what if you have gestational diabetes? Remember that since you are carrying a child in your womb, this means that the effects of gestational diabetes might not only manifest on you, but also on your child. Glucose can cross the placental barrier since this is the main source of nutrients for your growing fetus. The child of a mother with gestational diabetes tends to be larger in size because of the amount of glucose that they get. This can pose some problems during delivery. If the baby is already too large before it becomes term, this might prompt the doctor to deliver the baby prematurely. If the baby reaches full term, s/he may be delivered via Caesarean section because s/he cannot fit inside the birth canal. Normal spontaneous delivery might injure the baby. Moreover, your baby can have periods of hypoglycemia during his/her first few days since his/her pancreas have gotten used to producing large amounts of insulin while still in the womb.

You can become affected as well. Those who have gestational diabetes have higher risks of developing high blood pressure during pregnancy because of the thick consistency of the blood. Hypertension during pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia, is a life-threatening condition for both the mother and the baby.

Based on the aforementioned effects, pregnant women should definitely care about their condition. Controlling blood sugar levels is of utmost importance to prevent any unwanted incidents. That being said, proper diet that is low in sugar and enough exercise should be practiced by women with gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If you want to learn more about the dietary recommendations for gestational diabetes and other related information, sign up for our newsletter.

What is the Difference Between Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes?

What is the Difference Between Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes?

Diabetes is a very common condition among the older population. Almost all people are familiar with this condition and they know that in order to manage this disease, one has to cut down on his/her sugar consumption. However, did you know that there are actually three types of diabetes? Although all three of them involve high blood sugar in the body, they have distinct differences that call for classification.

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Those who congenitally have diabetes are classified under type 1 diabetes. This is often dubbed as juvenile diabetes because it is most common among children. However, it can still be diagnosed among adults. This type of diabetes is an autoimmune condition that permanently destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing insulin. Hence, the body can no longer produce any insulin.

Symptoms for type 1 diabetes is the same as that of type 2—there is thirst, fatigue, and frequent urination. However, people with type 1 diabetes mellitus are usually thin as they tend to lose weight since glucose is not properly absorbed by the body.

Treatment for type 1 diabetes involves insulin therapy. People should also make permanent lifestyle changes, such as having a healthy diet and becoming physically active. If not controlled or treated, this condition can lead to several complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, retinopathy, and stroke.

Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

The most common and well-known type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes mellitus. It affects millions of people all over the world. Unlike type 1 diabetes, this type of diabetes is caused by lifestyle factors, such as being obese, having high blood pressure, and having high cholesterol. The beta cells of the pancreas still produce insulin, but this insulin is no longer effectively used by the body, thus resulting to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia. It is only during the advanced stages of type 2 diabetes mellitus that the beta cells can become damaged, hence resulting to insulin deficiency.

Treatment starts with diet modification and physical activity in order to lose weight. Oral hypoglycemic agents will be prescribed, and, depending on the severity of the illness, you may be asked to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels at home. If the oral medications are no longer working, you might also need to subject yourself to insulin therapy.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, as its name suggests, happens only to pregnant women and is diagnosed during the second or third trimester. This is caused by the hormonal changes happening in your body. The hormones that are made by the placenta resist insulin, thus letting glucose stay in your bloodstream. This then causes high blood sugar. Moreover, your insulin needs as a pregnant woman increases by two or three times than the normal insulin needs because of the growing fetus inside your womb. All these factors pile up, giving you a condition known as gestational diabetes.

Women with gestational diabetes should control their blood glucose levels, as high blood sugar can have detrimental effects on both the mother and the baby. It is important to monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and to practice eating healthy and engaging in physical activities.

To know more about gestational diabetes and other types of diabetes, you can sign up for our newsletter.

Is Gestational Diabetes Preventable?

Is Gestational Diabetes Preventable?

Gestational diabetes can happen to anyone who is pregnant. Although there are factors that increase the risk of gestational diabetes in a pregnant woman, there are some people who still get afflicted with this condition even though they have no prior risk to it. Hence, there is really no guarantee that you can prevent gestational diabetes, but having healthy lifestyle habits before you get pregnant can still make a difference. Even if you have gestational diabetes now, these healthy habits can help you prevent developing gestational diabetes in your future pregnancies. They can also help you avoid type 2 diabetes later in life.

If you want to prevent gestational diabetes, follow these simple tips:

  • Have a healthy diet. Since one of the risk factors of gestational diabetes is being overweight, the food that you eat counts a lot in preventing gestational diabetes. Opt for healthy choices, such as foods that are low in fat and sugar but high in fiber. Fatty and sweet foods can make you gain weight, and if you do not control what you eat, you are well on your way to becoming overweight, or worse, obese. On the other hand, high fiber foods promote better digestion and elimination, thus helping you lose weight. Eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, since they are packed with vitamins and minerals and low in fat. Eating the same kinds of food can be boring, but the key is to strive for variety so that you can still eat nutritious food without compromising your health.
  • Exercise regularly. Diet always goes hand in hand with exercise. Although you can lose weight by simply eating smaller portions and healthier foods, your body will only be toned through exercise. Moreover, exercise is good for heart health. This is needed to prevent gestational diabetes complications such as hypertension and heart attack. In exercising, you can start with 30 minutes of moderate activity at least three times a week. Since you are pregnant, you don’t have to do high impact exercises. Simple walking, jogging, biking, and swimming already count as exercises. You can also chop your 30-minute exercise sessions into shorter periods throughout the day if you find the former tiring.
  • Lose weight before pregnancy. If you have plans of getting pregnant, make sure that your body is in tip top shape before you carry out your plan. That means you should make sure that you are not overweight so that you do not run the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Losing weight will not only benefit you in terms of your gestational diabetes, but also in terms of heart, muscle, and bone health. This can also improve your self-esteem dramatically. Doctors usually do no recommend losing weight while you are pregnant unless there is a necessity to do it, so you have no other time to lose weight but right now while you are still planning for your pregnancy.

To learn more about gestational diabetes and its causes, risk factors, prevention, and treatment, please subscribe to our newsletter and get my FREE Ebook!

Some Good Ways to Celebrate Spring with Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes Celebrating Spring

Gestational DiabetesNow that springtime is just around the corner, you might be wondering what activities you can do for this season. Remember, having gestational diabetes does not limit you to the things that you can do. There are still a lot of ways to enjoy this springtime, whether it be in terms of what you eat or what you do. In fact, this is the best time to fine tune your diabetes management plan because your mood is also probably at its best. Don’t be a bummer during springtime and indulge in the following activities and rejuvenating changes while the spirit of the season is still within you:

  • Take care of your feet. When you have any kind of diabetes, including gestational diabetes, your feet need to be showered with extra care to avoid developing diabetic feet. Spring is the best time to pamper your feet with a warm water soak that should not last for more than three minutes to avoid causing macerated skin. Also apply lotion to dry skin, but make sure that you do not leave moist areas, especially the area between your toes. Although you cannot indulge in a full-blown pedicure while you have gestational diabetes, you can still color your nails to get that springtime feeling.
  • Get out and walk. There is no better season to get out of the comfort of your own home and walk around your neighborhood than spring. The benefits of walking have been enumerated innumerable times already, and even if you are pregnant, this is still a great exercise for you. You can start by walking 20 minutes per day for at least three days per week. Just walk at the pace that your body is comfortable with. As your body gets used to the exercise, you can gradually increase your time and pace. Just make sure that you rest every few minutes, especially if you feel out of breath.
  • Eat fresh and keep hydrated. Springtime is also the season of lots of fresh fruits of vegetables that you can certainly indulge in. You can try a lot of unfamiliar fruits and veggies which contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are good for you and for your baby. Just make sure that you watch the glucose content of what you eat. As for the hydration, good old water is still the best drink for you. You have to increase your water intake especially once the temperature starts to climb. Drinking eight glasses per day is good for women with gestational diabetes.
  • Volunteer for gestational diabetes. The best gift that you can give to other women suffering from gestational diabetes is your support. Make a difference by joining advocacy groups and sharing your experiences as someone with gestational diabetes. Not only will you learn a lot from these groups, but you will also be able to benefit them from your experiences and coping methods. Empowering other women with gestational diabetes will help them cope with their conditions.

You can learn more about gestational diabetes and the activities that you can do through signing up for our newsletter.  Looking for a gestational diabetes diet meal plan then look no further, Buy my book on Amazon.  A complete gestational diabetes meal plan and recipes!

How Do I Make Sure My Baby Is Not Being Affected By Gestational Diabetes?

Affected by Gestational Diabetes?

Affected by Gestational DiabetesAs a future mom, it is common for you to worry about the health of your baby even if the little one is still in your womb. Thus, when your obstetrician broke the news to you about your gestational diabetes condition, you might have immediately thought about the effects that this condition may have on your baby. This concern is nothing but normal, and this is a question that is frequently asked by mothers about their condition. Are there adverse effects on my baby and if so, is there something that I can do about it?

Is My Baby Affected by Gestational Diabetes?

Because your baby is inside your body, there will certainly be risks posed on your baby while you have gestational diabetes. Although there is a barrier created by the placenta between the mother and the baby so that certain substances and bacteria affecting the mother will not affect the baby, this barrier does not protect the baby from the effects of gestational diabetes. Glucose can still cross the barrier, since the baby’s nutrition depends on the mother. In addition, the baby’s pancreas is not yet mature enough to produce enough insulin, so any excess of glucose can be pretty detrimental to the baby.

If gestational diabetes remains uncontrolled, your baby may accumulate fats around the trunk and shoulders because of the excess glucose coming from the mother. Hence, vaginal delivery might become impossible, so you will either have to subject yourself to a caesarean section, or deliver the baby prematurely because he is already too big to be in your womb.

If you still try to deliver your baby vaginally, shoulder fracture might occur. Since your baby also go used to high amounts of glucose when he was still in the womb, the baby’s pancreas might continue to produce a lot of insulin even after birth, so that baby gets the risk of developing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar after birth. Studies also show that babies born of gestational diabetics have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus later in life.

How Can I Prevent My Condition from Affecting My Baby? Affected by Gestational Diabetes

The only way that you can prevent the aforementioned complications is to control your blood glucose levels throughout your pregnancy. Gestational diabetics need more prenatal checkups compared to other women who have normal pregnancies.

Your obstetrician might subject you to several tests to determine whether or not your baby is having problems related to your gestational diabetes. An ultrasound can show the growth and development of your baby, letting you know whether or not your baby is growing too fast because of high levels of blood sugar in your bloodstream.

A non-stress test can also be done to see if your baby’s heart rate is normal, hence letting the doctors assess the health of your baby. This test is usually done towards the end of pregnancy. Fetal monitoring will also be done during labor and delivery so as to determine the indications of distress caused by gestational diabetes.

In order to know more about the effects of diabetes on both mothers and babies and what you can do to prevent or minimize them, please sign up for our newsletter.  Look for my book on gestational diabetes meal plans and recipes here on Amazon!  A complete meal plan and recipes.

Eating Right is Eating the Way You Want to Eat

The title of this article may seem conflicting to you. After all, how can you eat what you want if you have gestational diabetes? Although at first the dietary modifications that you need to employ may limit your food intake drastically, remember that this is not the goal of gestational diabetes treatment. You only need to lessen your carbohydrate intake so as not to increase your blood glucose levels. That means that you can still eat other foods as long as they do not spike up your sugar levels. Hence, you still have a pretty vast variety of foods that you can choose from.

Eating right means knowing what is good for you and choosing from the foods that you want to eat from those choices. To aid you in making healthy diabetic food choices, here are some tips for you to remember:

  • Choose complex high-fiber carbohydrates. If you love eating carbohydrates, you can still indulge in them even if you have gestational diabetes. It all boils down to what kind of carbohydrates you can eat. Generally speaking, you should only avoid those that contain refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice, and white bread. You also have to avoid those that contain simple sugars, like candy and soda. What you can eat are those known to be slow-release carbohydrates, which are so-called because they are digested slowly, thus letting your body control the blood glucose levels more easily. These are even advantageous because they make you feel full for a longer period of time. Choose alternatives to your favorite refined carbohydrates, such as brown rice instead of white rice, sweet potatoes instead of mashed and fried ones, and whole-wheat pastas and breads instead of the regular ones.
  • Watch out for your sweets. Although sweets contain simple sugars, it does not mean that you can never eat them during the duration of your gestational diabetes condition. Moderation is the key in eating these favorite desserts. At first, your sweet tooth habit may be hard to overcome, but it will get easier overtime once you keep on practicing healthy eating. Learn to compromise, like letting go of complex carbohydrate foods if you want to have some dessert. You should also learn to eat healthy fats, such as those found in yogurt and peanut butter. Also, sweets should be eaten as part of the meal to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.
  • Eat healthy fats, not unhealthy ones. There are two kinds of fats – the unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats) that can be found in whole milk dairy products, red meat, and eggs; and the healthy fats (unsaturated fats) coming from fish and plant sources. Of course, common sense dictates that you should eat more healthy fats, since these contain omega-3 fatty acids that are good for both your brain and heart. Those with gestational diabetes are also at risk for developing heart and brain complications.

Remember that eating smart is the key to eating right for women with gestational diabetes. If you want to learn more tips in eating the right foods for gestational diabetes, please sign up for our newsletter or Buy my book on Amazon, it is a complete gestational diabetes meal plan.

Common Portion Sizes of Carbohydrate Choices Part 3 – Milk and Dairy Gestational Diabetes

milk and dairy gestational diabetesWhen it comes to gestational diabetes, one of the most important things you need to look after is your diet. The main problem in gestational diabetes is that your body does not produce enough insulin or does not have enough insulin receptors to lower the glucose levels in the blood.  That is the reason why the foods that you eat contribute a lot to the management of your condition. Carbohydrates, most especially, should not be totally avoided, but ingested moderately to avoid sudden surges or dips in blood sugar levels. We shall discuss milk and dairy gestational diabetes

Aside from bread and other starches, you can get carbohydrates from milk and other dairy products. This includes soy milk and yogurt. This food group serves as great sources of energy, proteins, and fats. It is also high in vitamin A and calcium. Each serving of milk and dairy products is equivalent to 12 grams of carbohydrates. Here are the serving sizes:

Milk and Dairy Products Gestational Diabetes

Size of One Serving

Nonfat milk 1 cup
Low-fat, reduced, or skim milk 1 cup
Evaporated, fat-free milk ½ cup
Plain, unsweetened, low-fat soymilk 1 cup
Plain, light, low-fat yogurt 3/4 cup or 6 ounces
Low-fat, frozen yogurt 1/3 cup
Non-fat, fruit flavored yogurt with sweetener 1 cup
Sugar free custard, pudding, or evaporated milk ½ cup
Fresh milk 1 cup
Non-fat milk powder 1/3 cup
Non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese ¼ cup
Low-fat, reduced, or non-fat cheese 1 ounce
Peanut butter 1 tablespoon
Margarine 1 tablespoon
Low-fat or fat-free cream cheese 2 tablespoons

Tips on Including Milk and Dairy Gestational Diabetes Diet

  • Since you are pregnant, you can have four to five servings of milk or yogurt every day as part of your diet.
  • Drink more skim or low-fat milk instead of whole milk, since this contributes less glucose to your bloodstream.
  • If you want to add sweetener to your low-fat or fat-free yogurt, you can do so, provided that you use a low-calorie sweetener. There are many low-calorie sweeteners that are being sold in the market nowadays, especially made for persons with diabetes.
  • If you are going to use sour cream, you can use low-fat, plain yogurt as a good substitute. This can also work as a dip for chips and such.
  • It is best to eat dairy products that are either non-fat or low-fat. As much as possible, you should avoid foods that are high in saturated fat.

Aside from the tips that have been mentioned above, you should also keep in mind that you should eat in small, frequent feedings. Also ingest more protein, since this helps even out the carbohydrates in your diet. Proteins like meat and other meat products also give you energy, making you feel sated throughout the day. High-fiber foods should also be included in your gestational diabetes meal plan, and these foods include cereals and fruits. Indulge in sweets sparingly, as these can quickly raise your blood sugar levels.

To know more about meal planning for gestational diabetes, you can subscribe to our newsletter in the form below, or check out our new book about gestational diabetes meal planning.