Not long after I discovered I was pregnant with my daughter, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was shocked by the news, but even more shocked by the total calorie restriction my doctor wanted to put me on. He told me I needed to stay below 1700 calories a day. Looking back on it, I know he was concerned with the baby’s potential weight because of my food diary, which showed an intake of nearly 3,500 calories. I never got the chance to explain to him that this amount was actually LESS than I consumed prior to getting pregnant. After talking to the nutritionist he referred me to, and finding that she, at least, took into account the amount of daily activity I had, my calorie ceiling was raised back to 3,000 calories. The nutritionist taught me how to treat my gestational diabetes through diet, and that calories weren’t exactly what I had to worry about. Instead, I watched the sugars and the complex carbs, and ate several small meals a day rather than a few large ones. I was able to control my gestational diabetes entirely through diet, and had a healthy, normal birth-weight baby. After her birth, the diabetes was gone. Although I understand that having had gestational diabetes slightly raises my future risk for developing type 2 diabetes, I have no other risk factors. Even so, I still tend to watch what I eat, and to break meals up in such a way as to help control my blood sugar. It’s been nine years since I gave birth to my daughter, and so far, I’ve stayed healthy and diabetes-free. I hope to keep it that way.
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