When I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes with my first child, I thought it was my fault. Now I know it wasn’t. By Nikki Dudley, local mum of two.
Everyone gets their blood tested during pregnancy and it came as a shock to me when the doctor told me my blood test confirmed I had Gestational Diabetes. I immediately rushed home and had a good cry. What I should have done was ask more questions.
Even as things progressed, the guilt I felt didn’t abate. I kept thinking it must be because I’d eaten too many cakes while trying to meet other mums-to-be and not taken good enough care of my body. In reality, I would learn that Gestational Diabetes is about your pregnancy hormones blocking the production of insulin. I also realised that although there are high risk factors, ANYONE can develop Gestational Diabetes.
It wasn’t always fun. I had to test my blood once per day after different meals. I got told off by the nurse for eating Weetabix (hidden sugar!) They told horror stories at the initial session about having huge babies, which in hindsight, were not helpful but I suppose some people might need to hear that.
In the end, my son was 7 pounds 12 ounces when born, so not big at all! I don’t know what would’ve happened if I hadn’t been careful. Luckily, his blood sugar was fine once born (we had to stay in a night for him to be checked). I also passed my GD check post-birth. However, I am at greater risk of developing Diabetes in later life so I’ll need to be aware of that.
What do I want you to remember from this?
- You are not to blame. Even if you are higher risk for one reason or another, anyone can get Gestational Diabetes.
- You can change your diet and be more aware. Small changes can have a great impact.
- Don’t feel guilty. You are doing your best.
- Talk to people. Feel how you need to and process it.
You can read about Gestational Diabetes here:
Women’s Health Strategy Survey
Self blame and inadequate information often feature in women’s stories of early motherhood, pregnancy, and birth. For some mothers, the effect can have serious consequences. The government is currently reviewing a Women’s Health Strategy and asking us all to feed into this survey.