Tips for Managing Gestational Diabetes


A diagnosis of gestational diabetes can certainly throw things out of whack for the remainder of your pregnancy. From limited diets to tracking food consumption and upping your water intake, it may mean a lifestyle that you aren't accustomed to and some changes for the health of both you and your baby. Here are some easy tips for managing gestational diabetes.


Check Your Blood Sugars Regularly:  Meet with a Diabetes Educator or your OB to learn how to check your blood sugars, what your levels should look like and how to take any medications that they have prescribed to you.

Monitor Your Eating Habits:  Meet with a Dietitian/Nutritionist, they can help you monitor what you are eating and teach you how to change your diet to keep your blood sugars under control. 

Eat Those Carbs:  Carbohydrates are an important component in any Diabetes diet.  They are what keep your energized and what keeps your baby growing.  Hormones can make it difficult to control your blood sugars in the morning, so consider spreading out your carbohydrate intake throughout the day.  Eating a variety of foods like whole grains, fruits (with skin), veggies and dairy products will help you get the carbohydrates that you need.  High fiber or low-glycemic foods like apples, pears, broccoli, carrots, beans and flax seeds will help keep your blood sugars at your optimal level, which will also make you feel full longer.

Avoid Sweet Drinks: This includes juice, sweet tea, soda and any drink with added sugar.  These drinks are one of the fastest ways to raise your blood sugars.  Water is your best option or low-fat milk.

Physical Activity:  Regular physical activity is encouraged during pregnancy, however, if you develop Gestational Diabetes physical activity is a MUST.   Of course consider what your physical activity level was before your pregnancy and pick activities that will not put you or your baby at risk.  Try swimming, water aerobics or walking as these are low-impact activities.

Catch Some Z’s:  Because let’s be honest, getting enough sleep is important in every pregnancy.

Research Breastfeeding:  Exclusive breastfeeding (when breast milk is the only source of food for your baby) is recommended if you had Gestational Diabetes.  HOWEVER, please remember that the decision is ultimately up to you and whatever works for you and your family is what is best.  It doesn’t hurt to know all your options though.  Meeting with a lactation consultant could be very beneficial if you are considering breastfeeding.

Schedule Follow-up Visits:  Unfortunately, developing Gestational Diabetes increases your risk of Diabetes later in life as well as in any future pregnancies.  Some OB’s recommend all women that developed Gestational Diabetes get tested for Diabetes at 6 to 12 weeks postpartum due to this risk. It is important that you let your future doctors know you had Gestational Diabetes in a previous pregnancy so they are aware of any future risks you may have.

 xoxo
Stephanie

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

From the moment that those two pink lines appear on your home pregnancy test, to the moment that your babe is in your arms you worry about the health of your baby.

Did you do everything you could to give them the best start?
Did you eat right?
Did you eat enough?
Did you eat too much?
Did you exercise enough? Too much? Not at all?

Relax! Here are some simple tips to have a healthy pregnancy, written by a mom who has had one not-so-healthy pregnancy and one really great one (me!)


Hydrate

I know that you probably are up in the middle of the night three of four times to go to the bathroom, and that sneezing requires super human thigh and pelvic floor strength, but hydration is a key component to having a healthy pregnancy. It can help keep your blood pressure stable, keep false labour at bay and can also help curb cravings that you don't want to give in to. The rule of thumb is take your body weight, divide in half. That's the number of ounces of water you should be consuming in a day. ie: I'm 160lbs, half of that is 80. I should be getting 80oz of water a day.

Stay Active

Whether it's going for a walk a few times a week, joining a prenatal yoga class, or swimming (which is super gentle on your body while you're pregnant!), stay active! Not only can it help you have an easier labour, staying active during pregnancy can help your body bounce back after you have your baby. Remember to stick with activities that you were consistently doing prior to pregnancy. If you weren't a runner then, now is not the time to start!

Eat Well

Sure, you're eating for two, but that doesn't give you carte blanche to go wild at the buffet. The truth of it is that you only need to be consuming about 500 extra calories during pregnancy. So load up on veggies and fruits, add a juice into your morning routine, and see the cravings for for all.the.things. diminish. During my last pregnancy, in the first trimester all I wanted were carbs. If I saw bread and butter....game over. So, instead of loading up on refined white flour and whatnot, I opted for whole grains. And when the cravings do strike and you find yourself eating a slice (whole) chocolate cake...balance it out by getting active, hydrating, and juicing.

And that's it! Three simple steps that you can take to have a healthy pregnancy.

Hydrate
Be Active
Eat Well

Be mindful about what is going on with your body; it truly is an amazing thing!

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Top Must Have's for #Pregnancy, #essentials for a #healthypregnancy

Now that we've been there...done that! I thought that I would round up some of my absolute could-not-live-without items. You know...the must have essential items for the full 9 months of pregnancy!


Clockwise from top right

Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser hair butter - I received mine as a part of an Influenster VoxBox, and I have to say...it is really the only product that I use religiously on my hair. It has helped with the first trimester hair loss, and definitely helped my hair to stay strong through out the rest of my pregnancy.

Meditation - every night before bed, I put my head phones on, and zone out. Most frequently, I have done patience, compassion, flowing with change and pregnancy meditations on Meditation Oasis, but every now and then I throw in one for deep rest, or stress and pressure. It helps to reset my brain, and helps me be better to myself the next day.

Coconut Butter - I have to thank Kelly from The Turnip Farmer for this one. When the belly stretches, it inevitably gets itchy and sore. A gentle rub of coconut oil and bam! I literally found that new stretchmarks disappeared overnight!

Running - it has been my sanity saver, my personal me-time, and the way that I knew that I was taking care of my own body, so that it could take care of my baby. I ran for 8.5 months of my pregnancy, earned a few medals along the way, and gained an incredible amount of confidence in myself.

Belts - skinny belts, wide belts. Braided belts, stretchy belts! Belts were such a great and easy way to update my existing wardrobe when I was newly pregnant and wanted to feel like I looked pregnant...not pudgy. Such an easy and inexpensive wardrobe update!

Juice - I started juicing during my pregnancy at 20weeks and it was an amazing experience. It felt really great to know just how many fantastic and wholesome nutrients I was putting into my body in a single glass, and what I was passing on to my baby. I definitely know now what juices I love, and which ones I don't!

Rebirth Wellness Centre - having a great support system on your side outside of your family and friends can make all the difference in your pregnancy experience, and that rings true for me. From our Doula, Jena, to my therapist, Jodi, and at the end Dr. Andrea, the naturopath, we were able to establish a strong circle of support that will carry us through the years. I cannot sing their praises enough!

My favourite maternity outfit - My Thyme Maternity jeans carried me through two trimesters, and I loved pairing them with a simple tami from Old Navy, my black boyfriend cardigan and a pair of flats. Easy peasy, done and done. When you find the outfit that you absolutely love, switch up your accessories to keep it fresh. Add a pop of color with a belt, or your handbag.


So...there you have it! That's what got me through the whole nine months, and while I'm sure everyone's list will differ, it will be totally driven by your priorities and lifestyle. For me, it was important to keep running, to juice and feel great about what I was putting in my body, and to take care of my mental health.

Overall, it led to a very well rounded, healthy, happy and positive pregnancy!
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Why I Hired a Doula #pregnancy

Around 14weeks pregnant, I started to feel overwhelmed and nervous about the rest of this pregnancy. Since our experience with our first pregnancy was less than awesome, I was nervous about what my support circle would look like and if I would be able to consistently find my voice, especially nearing the end.

It was around this time in January that I started researching birth doula's and talking to other mom's who had had them in the room when they were in labour. I am very much of the whatever is safest mentality, including the use of epidurals and whatnot, so I wanted to make sure that if we went down the doula road, that we would be supported in our convictions and wishes for the remainder of our pregnancy.



Enter Doula Jena.



From our very first meeting, she put literally every single one of my worries at ease. It was reassuring to hear about the births she has attended, and what those experiences have been. It was awesome to have an open forum to ask questions, and get some really amazing answers.

What I found the most reassuring from her was her overall nonjudgmental attitude. I had an epidural with Owen (after 42 days of back labor, I was 4cm when my water broke, and I was DONE. I needed relief and I am happy with my decision) and due to the trauma, stress and PPD, was unable to breastfeed. Hearing from another mom and woman that it was okay meant the world to me. I knew that she was our Doula in that one moment.

My husband and I chatted and were both in full agreement that we wanted a more positive birth experience with this pregnancy. We wanted to feel supported, informed and empowered. I, personally, wanted the reassurance of not being alone (I vividly remember being alone during one point of my first labor, and throwing up all over the floor) and of being supported.

The after baby period is another thing that I took into consideration. Establishing my support circle (friends, family, online mama contacts, the whole kit-and-caboodle) early on was important to me. Being proactive and aware that PPD may happen again was important to me. Expressing this to Jena was important to me, and we have done all of that.

I feel so very confident going into these last 6 or so weeks, and feel as though we have surrounded ourselves with the most positive people, Jena included, and stand an amazing chance at having a fantastic birth experience this go around.

For me, hiring a doula wasn't about having a natural labor, or establishing breastfeeding, or a home birth. It was about being empowered, supported and knowing that I was doing everything I possibly could to set myself up for success.

No matter your reason for choosing to hire a doula (or not), stand by your decision and feel proud of it. What is right for us will not be right for someone else.

Gah! 6 weeks to go!

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Juicing and Pregnancy Vol. 2 #pregnancy #juicing

Each day that I prep my ingredients and push them through my juicer, I learn something new. It's a brand new adventure with every juice I create, and I definitely have some tips and pointers to share now that I've been juicing for 2 and a half months of my pregnancy.


Juice all the greens. I was only juicing baby spinach for the longest time, but when we only had a sweet baby green mix in the fridge...I threw caution to the wind. It was much more of a mellow taste than the baby spinach, and greens are great for alkalizing your juices, making for a more well rounded and nutrient rich juice.

Stone fruits are where it's at. If I'm having digestive issues, I throw in a peach or nectarine with an extra apple and feel so much better afterward.

Fiber supplements are your friend, especially if you are juicing alot of spinach to replace your iron stores after 20 weeks.

I found out from my Doula at around 25weeks that it's important to space out your juice and your food to avoid indigestion. This is something I was completely unaware of, and as I said...I'm always learning. She recommended if you have your juice first, wait 20minutes for food. If you have your food first, wait 2 hours for your juice. I've tried it, and it definitely helps with indigestion, which in turn helps with my lack of appetite sometimes!

Now for a recipe that I hope you will enjoy! It's one of my favorites so far, and it is definitely baby bump and baby approved!


2 apples
1 tangelo
1 nectarine
1 pear

This is one of those throw it all in the juicer type recipes. To prep, core your apples and pears, pit your nectarine (or peach if you prefer) and peel your tangelo.

Warning: This recipe makes alot of juice. I'm talking about 17oz. When my collection jug ran over 16oz and the stream was still coming fast and furious, I had to close the spout. There was still about an ounce of juice left in the collection area!

This juice is yummy...I mean super yummy. It's mellow, not overly tart, and is loaded with vitamin C - hence the name!

Cheers to another month of juicing! I have found that I actually prefer to have fruits and vegetables. Don't get me wrong...there are still crazy cravings for random things like rootbeer floats and milkshakes, but once they are filled, they go away. The craving for strawberries is pretty much always there!

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Run for Retina recap #running #pregnancy #fitmom

This past Sunday, against the threat of rain and at 7 months pregnant, I ran the Run for Retina in London, Ontario. 5km...most of which was surprisingly uphill, but I did it...and I didn't finish last!

My first km went by really quickly, and my tracker dinged at about 8minutes. I was surprised that I was going so fast, and then slowed down a bit to walk some.

This is when it got a little silly. In my brain, when I am running, I am not pregnant. I push myself, and tell my legs "you're not tired, your brain is...keep going" When you're 7 months pregnant, this is really dumb, but there's something that happens when you're at a race...there's something in the air. People are super jazzed to be there; for some, it's their first race and you can see the mix of excitement and nerves written on their face. For others, they're seasoned pros and complete the course in no time.

Then there was me. Pregnant and determined.

Around the 2km mark, my belly started to cramp. I walked a little more, and knew that it was my body telling me that it didn't necessarily need to slow down...it needed water like whoa. Thankfully, I could see the water station in my sights, so walked to it, and chugged a couple of glasses. Once the cramp went away, I walked quicker and worked my way up to a run.

This course was supposed to be a 5km, but when my tracker dinged that I had run 3km at the half way turnaround, I had a feeling that alot of the way back would be walking.

Grabbed some more water at the station, then just kept going. There was only one way back, and I would get there when I got there.

When I could see Blackfriars Bridge, I knew that the end was near, and that it was primarily downhill. I started running...and kept running. I actually ran right past my husband and son, and didn't realize that they were there! I ran past a few of the other racers and over the finish line.

I wanted to cry...but I really really needed to pee! So I collected my medal, grabbed two more glasses of water and ran right to the bathrooms. Once I had some much needed relief, took a moment to smile at myself in the mirror, pat my belly and be proud...all by myself.


When I found my husband and son, my kiddo ran up to me with the biggest smile and was SO proud. Then my husband said I I had of told you four years ago that you would become a runner would you have believed me? I laughed, and said no.

Then he said Would you have believed me if I said that you would run a 5km, while pregnant with our second son?

Absolutely not...but I did, and that's pretty awesome!

I'm SO looking forward to my next race in just a couple of weeks, the Le Chocolat 5K Run/Walk. It's actually a full on girls weekend away with my bests, and I can't wait!

If all else fails, I can have a firefighter carry me to the finish!
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7month #Pregnancy Update

Well hello again, folks. One month closer...and actually only 9 weeks until I'm fullterm! uhm ya...that would be a single digit...and yes I'm freaking out!



Maternity Clothes: On days that I don't wear maternity pants, I feel it. My belly hurts and definitely needs the support, so I have a support band and and the whole thing. Some tank tops and shirts are still non-maternity, as are some dresses, but for the most part...all maternity clothes.

Stretch Marks: Well my belly is shooting right out from the front edge of my hips...but there aren't really any new stretch marks. I'm not super pumped to see what the aftermath is, but it's all for the greater good.

Weight: +10lbs overall!

Sleep: Up at least once a night to pee, but then multiple times to change positions. Nature of the beast at this point!

Best Pregnancy Moment: We went to Old Navy a couple of weeks ago since my belly has gotten pretty big, and the weather is nicer...and I don't have many spring or summer maternity clothes. I found a non-maternity dress that I liked, and chose a larger size than what I would usually wear. IT WAS TOO BIG! Holla! Size small it is!

Movement: So it's rare at this point that he STOPS moving. Seriously. It's all the freaking time, but it's pretty awesome. He moves the most when Owen is chattering away, or when Daddy has his hand on my belly.

Food Cravings: Fairly consistent with the strawberry craving right now. Sprinkle a little sugar on them, then pop them in the fridge for the sugar to dissolve. Mmmmm. Also, Starbucks Iced Mocha's. I don't typically drink coffee, but these are amazing....especially with an apple fritter. Mmmmmm

Gender: It's a BOY!! (read here)

Names: We were out for a date night a couple of weeks ago and I said his name for the first time out loud. It made us both smile really big...so we've 100% made the right choice.

Symptoms: Forgetfulness...holy moly! I put a pot of water on the stove to make soup the other day, totally forgot that it was there and then couldn't figure out what the burning smell was. Ack! Then, we were out for lunch with Owen on the weekend, and I was asking for dipping sauce for my....wait what are they called? I stared at the girl saying "you know...the things...those things...oh God..." Colin laughed and said "chicken fingers?" YES! Aside from that, I'm starting to feel sluggish. It was bound to happen at some point!

Exercise: Running has been really helping with the pelvic floor pain, which I am really thankful for since it means that I'll be able to continue for a little while still! Yahoo! At my OB appointment this week, I asked about shin splits and if I can continue to run for a few weeks. My doctor reassured me that the shin splints are because I'm little, but have a big beach ball on my front - so recommended taping prior to a race or long walk/run, and has advised that she would prefer that I do more walking than running. For events, I have instructions to carry water and something with sugar in it in case I feel dizzy.



What I Miss: Wine. Period. Life over. Wine.

What I'm looking Forward To: A weekend away with my girlfriends in a couple of weeks. We're doing a 5km run, but doing an overnighter Girls Weekend. I'm so looking forward to a relaxing weekend away! It will also be my last race before he gets here, so I am going to soak every single moment of it in.

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Pep{per} In Your Step #juice #recipe

This morning I created a super yummy juice recipe, that I just had to blog the recipe right away so you could enjoy it too!


2 apples (cored)
1/2 orange (peeled)
5 large strawberries (rinsed and tops removed {optional})
1/2 orange pepper (seeds removed)

Yes, you read that right. Today, I added something new and exciting to my juice. My husband is big on wraps and salads, so we always have peppers and onions in the house. I thought well, I'm not getting enough vegetables in my morning juice, so I added half of a sweet orange pepper.

There's no specific method to this juice, just toss it all in and push it through. This juice recipe makes approximately 16oz. and is the perfect blend of sweet, spicy and tangy.

I was really surprised at just how much I liked this juice. I am not a huge fan of peppers on their own, but know that there are some pretty awesome health benefits and nutrients in them (vitamin A and C, potassium) that are great for this stage of pregnancy. Right now, I'm having alot of restlesss leg syndrome, particularly late in the evening when the rest of my body is settling down. Potassium can certainly help with that, along with cramps from running.

SO YUMMY! I really hope this is one recipe that you try, and if you do...report back!! I love it and it certainly will become a staple in our house!



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Tangerberry #juice #recipe

By far one of my favorite juice recipes that I've concocted! This juice is sweet, yummy, but super mellow and packed with vitamin C and antioxidants!


1 tangelo (peeled)
1 tangerine (peeled)
2 cups blueberries
1 large pear (cored)

I started by juicing my citrus, followed by my berries and finishing off with the pear quarters. The harder fruits and vegetables like celery, pear, apple and carrots help push through the softer fruits, ensuring that you get the most out of your produce.

This juice has a decent amount of pulp, something that I was worried about. I'm a no-pulp orange juice kind of girl, but honestly...it was so yummy!

Why are vitamin C and antioxidants important during pregnancy? Well, vitamin C helps mom's body fight infection, and also aids in the absorption of iron. Antioxidants have been speculated to reduce the risks of birth defects, and also reduce the risks of preeclampsia and miscarriage.

So, drink up mama!

If you try it, let me know what you think!!
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