Gestational Diabetes | Pregnancy

Gestational Diabetes: Induction and After Birth

I’ve mentioned a few times that induction week is approaching and this pregnancy is almost over! A lot of people have asked me why I’m being induced. It seems to be a big topic among moms and moms-to-be. Just like most other parenting topics. But, I don’t mind. I look at it as every person is different as is every pregnancy and experience. So, I decided to write up this post to have it all in one spot and also give some insight to some new moms, or moms-to-be who may have been or may soon go through what I have with gestational diabetes and inductions.

I am heading to the doctors tomorrow, and hopefully getting the date of my induction. I am looking forward to it and have made peace with the fact this is how it has to be. When we were discussing having one more baby, we talked home birth. I wanted a home water birth so badly, but I had a feeling from the moment I got those two lines that I was confident I would have GD again. My OB wanted me to take the test early at about 15 weeks, but I stalled. I took it at 19, got the results at 20 and started my diet right away.

Why am I being induced?: This answer is pretty simple. I have gestational diabetes for the second time diagnosed, and a 3rd time in total. Typically, if you have gestational diabetes the doctors don’t let you go many days past 38 weeks because of the “what-ifs” the risk of still-birth is more significant, as is having a bigger baby (this doesn’t bother me) the risk of low blood sugar in baby is also there which I did have with Hanna, and I’d like to avoid again this time, if possible. With Hanna, my placenta also decided to stop playing nice near the end and decided it would give us some issues with flow. I know there are more risks, feel free to look those up – I really can’t bring myself to read them.

This week I start my weekly BPP (Bio Physical Profile) ultrasounds, and NST tests (Non-Stress Tests) at the hospital where I will be monitored every week to make sure all is well with the baby, and placenta.

This is something I spoke to my doctor about in depth before we came to a decision. I am also starting to have trouble keeping my blood sugar in check. While you can always use something like the best glucose meter to measure these levels, keeping them at a safe level can often be slightly trickier. For those that don’t know when you have gestational diabetes you need to check your blood sugar often, follow a diet of low carbs and high proteins, and if you can’t keep your numbers within the range they give you-you end up on insulin. This is something I am trying very hard to avoid. But it seems I am getting a lot of higher numbers so I am being very strict with myself going forward in hopes to keep them in range and avoid insulin, making small changes like trying low carb bread over normal bread is one way I am going to try and keep on top of this.

What type of induction will I have: I asked my doctor, and he said it depends. He said it depends on baby’s position and my cervix. If I’m 2-3cm already, he will break my water. If not we will go from there. Regardless, once I am at the hospital for my induction, I am there and will have a baby. No being sent home for this mama. As expected, I have a lot of swelling so I will have diabetic socks on at all times. The socks are similar to compression socks and will help with swelling, circulation and overall foot health. I’ve had them on for a few days already and have seen a difference so I won’t be taking them off until the baby has been born and my gestational diabetes has gone away. I have been induced a few times, however, and my preferred method after water breaking is Pitocin. I’ve had great luck with it and have had very smooth labours and deliveries, I know people have their own opinions about it but after my experiences its one I prefer. I’ve also had gel, cervidil and a foley. No thank you.

During labour – Testing: It’s usually protocol to test your sugars often during labour to make sure your blood sugar isn’t too low, or too high. My last labour they failed to do this, and only tested me after birth where my sugar was on the low side. If your blood sugar is stable and maintained during labour post-baby will be much easier.

Testing baby after birth: About 2 hours after birth they start pricking your baby’s foot for their blood sugar tests. They will do this 2 hours after birth so make sure you get baby on the breast, or on a bottle ASAP after birth. You want to make sure their sugar is not low, and I’ve experienced two babies now with low sugar after birth, and it’s scary. One shot right up with lots of nursing and the other had to go to the NICU where I breastfed every 3 hours and topped up with formula. This wasn’t fun. I’d like to avoid this if at all possible. They will then check baby’s sugar after every feeding for the first little while. I believe they need four good readings in a row to stop testing then, and baby is good to go.

Testing you after birth: Once the placenta is out the rule is your gestational diabetes is GONE. Go ahead and eat till your heart’s content, but remember if you are breastfeeding to watch what you eat for baby! 2-6 months after birth you will be asked to take a test to find out if you have gotten rid of diabetes or if you’ve developed it and it will stay.

I know a lot of women who are new to GD have so many questions, and it’s a terrifying process to digest when you are first diagnosed. It’s very manageable and not every OB/Midwife/Doctor induces early. So, no need to fret. You can also say no if you don’t want to be induced you don’t need to be. I just chose to weigh the pros and cons and for me, and our family the risks are just too much for us, so we opt to trust our doctor and this time around will be inducing at 38 weeks.

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