Yesterday I laid out the groundwork for upcoming pregnancy posts, today we dig in with a subject relevant to me now. My lovely sister-in-law who is pregnant with twin boys, has recently been diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Naturally I have to explore this. Note my disgust when I found this food pyramid. After finding out she was having twins and that they were experiences twin-on-twin where one baby takes up more nutrients and space than the other, they had told her to increase the amount of proteins she was eating, to eat more fruits and vegetables, and less sugars. After the gestational diabetes they upped her calories to over 3,000 calories and more frequent feedings. I haven’t gotten my hands on her official guidelines yet, but I am a little baffled that they go from basically prescribing Paleo-like eating to the American food plan where you have to go a third of the way up the pyramid before you find something that is not a carbohydrate (aka sugar).
Obviously she’s already pregnant, so some things are a little harder to do. We can’t change the past. But one of the things I found interesting and that I took to heart in my research last year, was preconception diet. If a mother goes into pregnancy as a fat-burner, she has a seemingly infinite supply of food: FAT (note I have read of instances where Paleo moms have tested positive for Gestational Diabetes after Oral testing. Basically the sugar shock is not really giving a proper diagnosis. Ask for a Hb1Ac if you’re a Paleo mom). But if a mother enter pregnancy as a sugar-burner, they are dependent on carbs and sugar, otherwise they’ll experience all the highs and lows of insulin spikes and to prevent hypoglycemia. What I think about is the babies future. I personally believe we pass on our addictions and eating habits to our children. Not only by raising them to eat a certain way, but the foods we crave while we’re pregnant. While pregnant with my sister was a sugar-junkie. Fast-forward 30 something years and my sister is a sugar addict. She has a hard time making it through a day without something sweet. Worse add two autoimmune diseases, which I believe come from the sugar. I think this has in part passed onto my nephews, after one just spent a week in the hospital for asthma.
I am concerned, because not only is Katie at risk for diabetes in the future, but so are the babies. Are they now predisposed to diabetes too? Now they are talking about intergenerational diabetes where in baby’s are at future risk. With this you have also have the associated risks of diabetes: obesity and depression.
What can lead to gestational diabetes?
- too many carbs (notably fructose)
- autoimmune complications with lectins
- loss of insulin sensitivity due to sleep deprivation
Obviously to prevent gestational diabetes we can diet prior too. What if you’re already do have it? Getting all the nutrients you can. It is never to late to change the way we eat. Once the baby is born, really focus on the foods you keep at home and how you raise them. It’s funny thought that one of the big suggestions for women with gestational diabetes is exercise along with diet. Tomorrow we’ll delve into exercising while pregnant.