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WhatToDo

My wife won't stick to her GD diet.

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WhatToDo

She was diagnosed with GD at around 25 weeks. She attended all the educational sessions to learn about the diet to follow and at first she was doing well. As time went on she gradually started pushing the limits and cheating more frequently. She is now 37 weeks pregnant and she is not sticking to the diet at all. Every day she eats several things that are supposed to be off limits, like cake, chocolate and sugar filled drinks. I've tried everything to make her stop. I'm not a good cook but I try, and what I do cook is healthy but she turns her nose up it. I went to the Dr. with her the other day and he expressed very firmly that she needs to start sticking to the diet, but it made no impact whatsoever on her.

 

I find her irresponsible actions to be incredibility selfish, if my child is born with problems because of her I will never forgive her. This is making me extremely anxious and depressed, I've lost all respect for her and after this I have no faith in her as a mother. I don't know what to do.

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raffi

Sweets and other fast carbs can be very addicting at the best of times. Add to that the hormones raging through a woman's body while she is pregnant and the associated cravings and aversions and it is easy to believe that she is all but helpless to do what she needs to do. I don't know what the educational sessions told her, if it was a fairly normal one, it would be having her eating enough carbs to keep from getting free of their additive nature.

 

One thing that you can probably do to help (if you are not already doing it) is make this both of your diets. Lead by example and keep all temptations out of the house. What she needs to be eating will not do you any harm (and you may even like it). If you need to have something that is not on her OK list, do it outside the house. Even the smell of a carby item can send her out of control.

 

With a baby growing in her, she will need plenty of calories, be sure she is getting enough of the right kind. Her carbs should be veggies and those really don't have much in the way of calories. Sauteing veggies in olive oil brings the calorie count up, is very satiating and it tastes good. Adding a full fat dressing to a salad does the same thing.

 

Make sure she is testing her blood sugars before and 2 hours after each meal. If you see high numbers, you can use that as feedback to help improve what is eaten. If the numbers are not too high (not sure where that cutoff is, so let's say 250 or above is too high) you can bring them down with a walk. Keeping them low is important, so have her test.

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raffi

I just realized I was probably not too clear on the exercise part. If her numbers are above 140, but less than 250 a walk can help bring them back down. Above 250, the exercise can cause more harm than the good it does.

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jwags

High blood sugars in pregnant women are very dangerous to the baby. She needs to realise this. We lost one of our babies at birth and back then I wasn't even diabetic. So she needs to listen to her doctor. She is also increasing the chance that she will become full diabetic even after the birth of your baby. I was never a big sugar eater, but I ate way too many whole grains like cereal, bread, brown rice, etc. For a diabetic all those carbs are dangerous. Plus high bgs can cause serious complications in diabetics.

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aiah23

I guess the question to be is this: have you both been told the chances/risks in her diabetes being poorly controlled during pregnancy? It sounds like you're more aware of them than she is. I know it's hard to think when one is pregnant. But unless she's able to take insulin to cover some of her stuff she's doing even more damage. Eating that kind of food frequently will make for a very large baby and she'll need a c-section. The baby will be used to producing too much insulin to account for her intake of food, so when it is born, assuming no other issues/complications, the baby will be hypoglycemic and may spend a few days in NICU where it will be monitored for lows and other issues like jaundice. Your wife sounds like she's rebelling but you've pointed out that this doesn't just affect her, it affects your baby. Sounds like you both need to be involved in some serious conversations.

 

Fawn

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pinkbenjiblue

hi, congrats on the pregnancy....i am so sorry about the struggles....i hope to G d everything is ok with our baby...i hear your resentment to your wife, that is not good since she probably needs your comapassion more than ever...any way that I can suggest clergy or a psychologist? Perhaps get to the root to y she is eating like this, is she addicted to sugar, is this un intentual or is she acting out. I am weary to think anyone would wabt to put their baby in harm way, I will tell you that the more u argue with her, you will not accomplish anything...give her a hug, try to be a s supportive as you can and try to get to the bottom of this..knowledge is power, perhaps she just does not rea;lize what she is doing....speak to he rnot at her, listen to what she sais, give yourself a few minutes to digest.....try not to judge, tell her sone things that she is doing great with.....try to be sopportive, she needs you.....wish things were better....fear does not always accomplish, sometimes it dos...this is a very hard call....best

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ZoraP

I've had GD three times (diet controlled) and all my babies were just fine at birth -- they were all under 9 lb and had no blood sugar issues of their own. I will admit that I "cheated" some on the diet, but not all that much (and more with the first one than with the next two). I really, really craved sweets, and it was hard to resist them all the time. The one thing that really kept me in line was home glucose monitoring -- my doctor had me do it up to 8 times and day and show him my records. When I saw how much those "off-limits" foods were spiking me I realized how much I had to watch it.

 

Do you have a home monitor and is she using it? I'd see if you can get one right away, if you don't already have it. I got mine through loaner programs so I could return it after the birth -- this time I bought my own.

 

Don't let your fear for the baby put a wedge between you and her, though. This will backfire. The two of you need to work as a team and now is not the time to be expressing doubt or lack of confidence in her abilities. The best thing you can do for your baby's health right now is to be as supportive of her as possible, and be proactive: get all the sugar, bread, potatoes, pasta, etc. out of the house immediately and find her some low-carb treats she really likes. Try eggs, cheese, meats, and green veggies. Unsweetened coconut is a very low-carb but sweet-tasting treat. My GD diet was very low carb because that's the only way I could keep my numbers in line without insulin.

 

The good news is that even with only 3 weeks to go to her due date, getting back in control now will be very helpful, especially with regard to the baby's blood sugar levels right after birth. The other good news is that most babies of GD pregnancies come out just fine in any case, so try to set your mind at ease a bit.

 

Thinking ahead: the best thing you can do for your baby's health, as well as your wife's, after the birth is encourage her to breastfeed, and do everything you can to facilitate that. Bring her healthy, nutritious snacks and plenty to drink, keep visitors away while she and the baby are resting and nursing, keep the house tidy, "guard the nest," encourage her when it's tough going, and call in expert help right away if it looks like nursing isn't going well.

 

I just thought of one more thing: having children is, frankly, a gamble. Your child could be born "with problems" due to all kinds of things that are completely outside your control or hers (genes, for instance). So don't play the blame game; any problems could just as easily be "your fault" and you wouldn't even know it.

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mazea

I think you will find most people with diabetes cheat occasionally with their diet. I'm type 1 and while I stuck to a diet and had a very low HBAC1 of 4.6 to 6 throughout pregnancy I actually did have a whole pizza hut pizza a few times during those 9 months. What I'm trying to say is that my baby was born a normal weight with a natural spontaneous labor with an apgar score of 9 with no problems even though I occasionally cheated my diet. Not all babies that's mothers eat a few naughty things are born unhealthy.

The biggest thing that was important for me was the heart defects that can happen during the first 4 months, The chance of heart defects are higher with higher blood sugars and was very careful to follow what the doctor said during this time to eat low GI foods and have folate.. When the blood sugar of the mother is high when ketoacidosis sets in oxygen is reduced in the blood. The baby can't breathe very well when ketacidosis is high. It can cause low oxygen to the brain and miscarriage. It's something to be careful of and a good motivation to stick to the diet for.

I found I had an opposite problem to your wife in that I ate lots of low GI foods and had waiting times for my insulin and drove my blood sugars down too low. It helped to see a psychologist to get over my issues so I could have higher blood sugars. Now I run a HBAC1 of 7.

I'd be a bit easier on your wife. You have no idea how hungry a 37 week pregnant woman is. I would get out of the road of the low GI muffins and fruit if I were you.

Also try the Simply to good to be true books. Type it into google. I love these books yummy can be healthy too.

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patricia52

Don't be too harsh. Just being pregnant makes her more hungry. So does having low Blood Glucose. Have you checked her BG when she most needs to cheat? It could be that her BG is too low. I am terribly hungry after my BG drops low. You are in this together. Be a partner not the diabetes police.

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aiah23
At 37 weeks pregnant, shouldn't she be giving birth soon?

 

Normal is 38-42 weeks (although 42 is on the tail end). Many diabetics (who don't delivery pre-term) typically go to 38 or 39 weeks.

 

Fawn

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ZoraP

The only reason "diabetics" (which is really not a useful category given that type 1 is a lot different from GD) would more typically go to only 38 or 39 weeks is that their doctors prefer to induce them for fear of their babies growing too large. I think this is poor medical practice, though, because babies of diabetic pregnancies are slightly more likely have immature lungs (thus it's better not to rush them). Also, induced labors are more likely to become complicated than labors that start naturally. So if the doctor is willing to monitor the mother and baby closely and there are no signs of trouble it's really better to wait until the baby is ready to be born. For what it's worth, all three of my babies were born a few days after their due dates -- perfectly healthy and not overly large, and I needed absolutely no interventions in my second and third labors (the first wasn't bad either, but I did have an epidural).

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Skepchick

Hi WhatToDo,

 

I get your frustration and I'm sorry you're going through this. When I was diagnosed with GD at 28 weeks, I was furious. I'm a recovering needle chicken and I was afraid that stabbing my fingers four times a day would set back my progress. And I was mad that I couldn't eat what I wanted, when I wanted. I found that having to carefully plan and note when I ate, and monitor how many carbs were in each meal, was exhausting and stressful. But I did manage to get through it.

 

One thing that helped me was reminding myself that the diet had a clear end point: The birth of the baby. Your wife is at 37 weeks, so she hasn't much longer to go. I'd stress to her that it's never too late to get back on the diet, and she could be on it for as little as a week.

 

The other thing that helped me was identifying a few sweets I couldn't live without and finding products that helped me fit those sweets in my diet. For example, I love ice cream; can't live without it. I was able to program ice cream in my diet by choosing one or two Ice Cream Bon Bons from Trader Joe's (6 carbs each) with an otherwise 'saintly' lunch or a single-serve cup of Ben & Jerry's (the single-serve Vanilla is 18 carbs). Both of these products were things I was eating before I was diagnosed, so it was easier for me to integrate them, but doing so showed me that I didn't have to go completely without, and it made the diet much more bearable.

 

Maybe she would be amenable if you sat down with her and helped her figure out what treat foods she can't live without, and figure out how to include them in manageably-sized portions.

 

Good luck!

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Lizzie G

Hi WhatToDo

 

I'm sorry to hear of what you are going through. To be honest I would probably have the exact same feelings of anger and anxiety towards my partner if I were in your position. I'm type 1 which obviously gives me a lot more flexibility with my diet (during pregnancy I kept tight control by eating normal diet, monitored myself closely and was aggressive with insulin, the only foods that caused a problem were very high carb slow to digest meals which i think is very different to someone type 2 or GD not on insulin)....anyhow, you've had some really good replies and suggestions, but I just wanted to add to set your mind at rest....from the time time your wife was diagnosed the development of the baby's organs and limbs etc would have been complete, so the main risk at this later stage in pregnancy of poorly controlled blood sugar is a large baby.

 

I hope you are ok. reading your post it seems like the most damage this has caused is the trust between you and your wife. I hope you figure things out and work together on this one x

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Moonpie

I just wanted to add that I understnad you are stressed out , but that will not help your wife & your baby. You need to be there for both of them, like someone already mentioned, babies are not always perfect, even if a perfect diet has been followed, your baby will need your love when s(he) arrives. I wish you all the best & hope you can help your wife with kind encouragement HUGS

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aiah23
The only reason "diabetics" (which is really not a useful category given that type 1 is a lot different from GD) would more typically go to only 38 or 39 weeks is that their doctors prefer to induce them for fear of their babies growing too large. I think this is poor medical practice, though, because babies of diabetic pregnancies are slightly more likely have immature lungs (thus it's better not to rush them). Also, induced labors are more likely to become complicated than labors that start naturally. So if the doctor is willing to monitor the mother and baby closely and there are no signs of trouble it's really better to wait until the baby is ready to be born. For what it's worth, all three of my babies were born a few days after their due dates -- perfectly healthy and not overly large, and I needed absolutely no interventions in my second and third labors (the first wasn't bad either, but I did have an epidural).

 

Actually Zora, my understanding of this issue has to do more with placental degradation than large baby size. I'm not sure why this occurs, docs haven't been able to give me a firm answer on it so if anyone else knows more about it, I'd love to see it.

 

Fawn

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gestational dad

hi. i'm curious as to how everything worked out if youre still able to receive these messages...the mother of my children cheated lots on her gd diet and i would be interested to know if your baby is ok and share what happened with mine.

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GrammaBear
hi. i'm curious as to how everything worked out if youre still able to receive these messages...the mother of my children cheated lots on her gd diet and i would be interested to know if your baby is ok and share what happened with mine.

 

This thread is about 3 years old, the original poster may or may not return to answer your question.

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