Maya’s bittersweet first pregnancy, with gestational diabetes

minute read
April 10, 2023
A pregnant woman, with gestational diabetes, holding her belly.
Note: Image for illustration only. It does not show the author of this story. Photo credit - Anoop VS.

I have a cousin, let’s call her Maya.

Maya got pregnant and was excitedly expecting her first child. However, her joy was dampened when she was then diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

At first, she was scared and confused. The diagnosis was overwhelming, and so was looking into everything she needed to do and change to make sure she had a healthy pregnancy.

During such a heightened emotional state, it was hard to digest and absorb all the information about the risks, complications, and recommendations.

The struggles

Maya already had polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) and had conceived with the help of heavy medication. Adding gestational diabetes on top of her existing challenges was particularly tough.

Not only that, but Maya’s family already had a history of diabetes – This made her worry about whether her diabetes was truly just gestational (and therefore temporary) or whether it was the onset of permanent diabetes.

Her food and diet were a constant problem. On top of morning sickness, Maya had to deal with morning sugar levels too. She also had food cravings, which due to her gestational diabetes she had to tightly restrict. It took complete mental and psychological control to not eat anything too heavy. And as a side effect of her gestational diabetes, she also gained more weight than average.

The battle

Like any expecting mother, the health of Maya’s baby was her top priority. With the support of her family and healthcare team, she was determined to do everything she could to manage her condition.

She strictly followed her meal plan and monitored her blood sugar levels, making drastic changes as needed.

She also made time for regular physical exercise and took any medications prescribed by her doctor.

During the last 2 months, she was worried about using insulin injections on her lower abdomen and changed to her upper arms.

Due to her hormonal changes and mood swings, Maya was very worried that her condition would cause her baby complications or deficiencies – It was daunting and frustrating.

The happy ending

Despite her challenges, Maya pushed to remain positive and focused on the health of her baby. There were days when she was depressed and demotivated, but in the end, her efforts paid off – She had a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Her little one arrived safely, was a perfectly healthy weight, and showed no signs of diabetes.

And Maya’s diabetes also disappeared after delivery – It really was just gestational.

Maya’s diabetes also disappeared after delivering the baby, but she continues to take care of her food intake.

The ongoing efforts

Maya’s grateful for the support and resources she received during her pregnancy, and is proud of taking such good care of herself and her baby.

And even though Maya’s diabetes was gestational, the experience, combined with her family history of diabetes, made her pay more attention to her diet moving forward. She continues to carefully track and monitor her diet and focus on eating healthily, steadily losing the weight she gained during her pregnancy.

She’s confident she can control her intake of carbohydrates and ensure a bright, healthy future for her family.

But she remains vigilant, knowing that type 2 diabetes runs in her family and that she is at higher risk.

Graphic of a female profile picture.

Maya is a 32-year-old new mom who faced gestational diabetes. Despite the physical and emotional challenges, she managed to have a healthy baby. Her diabetes disappeared after the delivery, but she continues to eat right as diabetes runs in her family.

Editor's note: The opinions and experiences reflected in stories from the diabetic community belong to the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of InDiabetes.

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