I was puzzled, confused and downright terrified when I began vomiting 6-10 times a day after just a glass of water! I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. My doctor broke the news that I was pregnant. “Oh, so this is morning sickness”, I asked? He said, “In a normal pregnancy nausea is minimal. You have what is known as Gestational diabetes” and went on to explain:
Gestational diabetes is, diabetes or high blood sugar levels, that occur in women when they are pregnant. It occurs in about 4% of all pregnancies. It often occurs in women who have no prior history of diabetes, yourself being one of them.
Gestational diabetes is thought to develop due to the hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy where some women become resistant to the hormone, insulin. Insulin, is made in the pancreas and allows the body to metabolize glucose for later use as fuel (energy). When insulin is low, or the body can’t use insulin effectively, blood glucose levels rise.
During my three pregnancies, I was chronically ill throughout gestation. I could only eat 1-3 foods without vomiting within 3-5 minutes of consuming it. The problem was, I had to try the different foods to see which of them I could keep down until I hit the jackpot and then only eat that for the duration. One entire pregnancy, I could not drink water.
My first four months I struggled to maintain my weight and became ultra anorexic thin, only to morph into a lardy hippo balloon in the last 5 months. Not fun at all!
Women who have gestational diabetes are at risk of:
- Gestational diabetes in consecutive pregnancies
- Deliver infants with a high birth weight (over 9 pounds)
- May become type 2 diabetic in the future
If the blood glucose level is high throughout pregnancy, there is a possibility that the foetus will also have high blood glucose levels. This can cause the foetus to be larger than normal, making delivery more complicated and a Caesarean birth may be necessary.
Immediately after birth, the baby is at risk of having low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia, which is what one of my sons had and he and I both nearly died), can have jaundice, respiratory distress syndrome, and a higher chance of dying before or following birth. The baby is also at a greater risk of becoming overweight and developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Mothers may develop preeclampsia, a maternal condition characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine and have an increased risk of having type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy.
My youngest is now 30 years old and I am happy to say that with a healthy diet and alot of exercise, I am not type 2 diabetic, blood pressure is normal and I have a healthy BMI.
A healthy diet and exercise plan, before, during and after may help ease symptoms of gestational pregnancy, however, is not always the case. See your Doctor first.