Holistic Management of Gestational Diabetes
In the realm of women’s health, gestational diabetes (GDM) is a condition that requires careful attention and management, not just during pregnancy but throughout a woman’s life. Just treating the symptoms of diabetes is how most of medical approaches are given and for most people, it works. However, I can’t help thinking we can do better for our mums. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of gestational diabetes, its impact on a woman’s health, and the holistic strategies that can help women not only during pregnancy but also in their long-term well-being. I will also share aspects of the The Conscious Pregnancy Approach, which has been shown to empower women to have the pregnancy and birth they deserve.
Understanding Gestational Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when your body is unable to produce enough insulin. Insulin is needed to transport circulating blood sugars in your cell, where it can be used for energy. There are three types of diabetes Type 1, Type ” and gestational diabetes.
In Type 1 diabetes, there is no insulin available and is caused by trauma, infections or genetics where as in Type 2 diabetes there is some, just not enough insulin to fulfil the demand. Type 2, therefore is driven by socioeconomic, demographic and genetic factors which means that it often can be controlled through diet and a healthy lifestyle. It is often call the disease of the modern world.
Coming back, insulin transports your blood sugars into the cells for energy. Thus, if the cells don’t get the carbohydrate, they potentially starve. This is why people with diabetes are constantly hungry but they often don’t seem to put on weight. They may also smell of ketones or have bad breath which can be evidence of excessive fat and protein breakdown.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a temporary form of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It develops when the body cannot produce enough insulin to regulate the mothers blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Most incidences occur around 24 weeks gestation, although GDM can occur at any stage during your pregnancy. It is important to manage GDM because it has serious implications for both you and your baby. People with poorly managed GDM tend to have a higher risk of complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
Incidence of Diabetes
Current statistics showed in 2021 that there were approximately 537 million adults (20-79 years) living with diabetes. This means that 1 in 10 people worldwide are diabetics. This number is predicted to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045.
The stats also show that gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) diagnosis increased from 6% in 2019 to 8.3% in 2021. Also, that Women aged 40+ are at a higher risk of developing GDM (15.6%) than those who are < 20 years (2.7%). More catastrophically, that 50% of women with GDM will go on to develop diabetes later in life and their children are 6X more likely to develop diabetes.
However, for the most part GDM is totally controllable. Better still it is preventable with good pregnancy management. But we must ask ourselves why GDM is on the increase given that we have better healthcare, greater medical advancement, education, plenty of foods, etc? My theory is that, while most approaches have within a holistic model it is not generalised and incorporated into every aspect of the person’s life. The Conscious Pregnancy Approach attempts to fill in the lack.
Holistic Approach to Gestational Diabetes
The Conscious Pregnancy Approach works on a totally holistic approach towards managing gestational diabetes. Our approach is to educate and implement those teaching so that we are not simply addressing the symptoms of GDM but are geared towards empowering you to improve your overall health and well-being.
our main philosophy is that we explore the root cause of the disease and find ways to help you take the appropriate restorative actions so that your body can re-balance itself.
We never fix anyone – All “Healing occurs through your body’s innate healing capacity”.
We simply create the space to encourage your body to take is right course of action.
There is a biological imperative for all of us to survive thus, what healers, doctors, nurses, therapist merely create the space for healing to have happen.
Pregnancy, although natural puts your body temporarily diabetic condition because of the rapid changes your body must make to accommodate your growing baby. It has to work harder to prepare a suitable space to grow your baby well. For example, there is a marked increase in your metabolic functioning to cope with the increased hormonal circulating levels and the greater demand for higher levels of oxygen carrying capacity and nutritional availability. So, by the time you have your baby is 34 weeks old your:
- blood plasma volume will have increases by 50% which is proportional to the birth-weight of your baby. Most babies weigh between 2.5-3.5kg.
- heart will have grown to accommodate a 50% increase in cardiac output (nearly double its muscle thickness)
- uterus will have grown 400X its normal size
- There are countless other things that are happening…..
Fortunately, for most women their pregnancy is uneventful as your body knows how to adapt and cope. However, when socioeconomic, demographic and genetic factors are exacerbated it becomes difficult for the body to compensate and the balance gets tipped. This is where problems happen and things start going wrong. This is when most women come will come to see us.
The Conscious Pregnancy Approach is a 360 approach and involves combination psychological, physical, social and emotional treatments. It is designed to hold and support a mother throughout her pregnancy and beyond. In today’s busy world, treatments are often compartmentalised and many women feel they being shunted from pillar to post. They often don’t have a primary person responsible for their care. It is piecemeal. If there is a problem he focus is soley on sorting that out, Most people do not have one person to support them A treatment plan will be created for you to follow based on how you are feeling. All treatment is triaged which means the level of intensity will be determined on how much discomfort you have. We may start with the physical before moving onto the more mental and emotional aspects or the other way around. Luckily we are in a centre where there are plenty of resources and so, you will be able to access other supplemental therapies to support you.
Why is Diabetes a Problem During Pregnancy?
Briefly, diabetes affects every system in your body because it is involved with the metabolism of all fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Metabolism is the breaking down of basic food source (fats, carbohydrates and proteins) into their fundamental components parts so they are available, to utilise them for body processes. For example, sugar is broken down into glucose, fats to fatty acids and glycerol and proteins to amino acids. The glucose is mainly used for energy – we need energy for everything that we do. The fats acids and glycerol are mainly to make hormones and form part of every cell wall structure. Last, the amino acids make our enzymes i.e. RNA, DNA, pretty much everything else. It is also a key component in cell wall structure. If metabolism isn’t working well your body rebuild itself easily. Moreover, if your body tries to use fats and protein in an uncontrolled way not planned as in Keto diet, it becomes challenging for your body starts dispose of their waste products. After a while they build up and cause swelling and other restrictions in your body.
If you have uncontrolled high levels of blood sugar then, not only will it affect you physically but the sugar will be transported across the placenta causing problems for your baby. With too much food being constantly given to your baby, your baby potentially will grow much bigger. Bigger babies potentially lead to birth complications. Also if you have GDM you have a higher change of developing preeclampsia, a potentially lethal condition for both mum and baby. So not an ideal condition.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom with the right management you and your baby can be absolutely safe.
Our Holistic Approach for GDM Management
1. Personalized Nutrition Plans
Maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial for stabilising and managing your gestational diabetes. Together, we will create a personalised nutrition plans that emphasises balanced meals and snacks. We focus on whole, nutrient-rich foods that help regulate blood sugar levels and provide essential nutrients for both you and your baby.
2. Regular Exercise Regimen
Physical activity helps to regulate your blood sugar levels by making your body more sensitive to insulin (the hormone that allows cells in your body to use blood sugar for energy). It also helps lowers the risk of your baby growing too big and diminishes potential birth complications. Having a exercise regimen tailored to your individual needs means that you not only control your blood sugar levels but that you are more likely to continue, improving your overall fitness and it also reduces stress.
3. Stress Management Techniques
Many pregnant moms are trying to do things perfectly and are wanting to do it all. This is very stressful, and stress can affect your blood sugar levels. Together, we explore stress management techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga. These help you to reset and re-balance your body, managing stress and maintaining emotional well-being throughout your pregnancy.
4. Holistic Treatments
You will follow the Gentle Birth Method program. This involves having applying organ specific light touch massage to stimulate and reposition your organs. This is given in conjunction with other therapies that may also be applied such as reflexology, neuro-biofeedback, craniosacral, etc. When we remove the toxins, replace what is missing and install new messaging to your body, which allows your body to reset and re-balance itself, ultimately regulating your blood sugar.
5. Education and Support
Managing gestational diabetes can be overwhelming, especially if you feel that you have a lot on your plate. But when you understand what is really happening and what you can do about it, it feels empowering and much more manageable. You will be part of a community and will be able to with support groups and resources in this community.
While gestational diabetes is temporary, its effects can linger. Women who have had gestational diabetes are at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. However, the risks spread out to their children as they are 50% more likely to develop diabetes latter in life. Our holistic approach not only helps manage gestational diabetes during pregnancy but also sets the stage for a healthier future.
In the journey of pregnancy, managing gestational diabetes is a critical aspect of ensuring the well-being of both you mother and your baby. Having spent many years treating hundreds of pregnant women successfully through their pregnancy we are committed to providing holistic care that goes beyond the immediate needs and focuses on long-term health. Our personalized nutrition plans, exercise regimens, stress management techniques, and continuous support empower women, like you to navigate gestational diabetes with confidence.
If you or someone you know is dealing with gestational diabetes, remember that you are not alone. Reach out to us at the Conscious Pregnancy Coach on the link below for comprehensive and compassionate care. Your health and the health of your baby are our top priorities.
How can I message you?
If you have any questions, feedback, or need further assistance, you can easily message me through the contact form on my website. I strive to respond promptly to all inquiries and look forward to connecting with you!
What services do you offer?
As a Pregnancy and Infertility coach, I specialize in helping professional women to navigate the challenges they experience on their pregnancy journey. I help them reclaim control by providing them with a safe, non-judgmental space where they can openly express their feelings, fears, frustrations and be empowered to confidently create a safe, nurturing and loving environment for themselves and their unborn child. On the physical front I help your body reset and re-balance through other alternative practises.
My passion lies in empowering women to effect sustainable, positive changes in their lives. To achieve this, I employ a diverse range of transformational tools that help in the release of trauma, PTSD, grief, and loss, particularly those stemming from their primary mother wound. Together, we embark on a journey of growth and healing, inspiring each individual to find solutions that ensure a healthier and more fulfilling pregnancy experience.
Can anyone benefit from your coaching programs?
Absolutely! While my specialization is in tailored to working with professional women who are focused on issues surrounding pregnancy the primary trauma that most women and men experience is a the collect mother wound. My coaching programs and healing books are designed to benefit any individual, especially women, seeking to overcome trauma, heal deep wounds, and create a positive impact on their lives.
What is the best way to have a healthy and happy pregnancy and birth?
To understand that although nature has provided you the physical body to grow and nurture a child, it is so much more. We are moving into a rapidly evolving world where high-level mental capacity is desired for the success of our children but that is challenging them greatly. Pregnancy is the only time when you can lay the bio-neurological structures without any other external influence. So what you do here can begin making the biggest difference to your child’s future. By intentionally being present, honouring and nourishing yourself and your baby you give yourselves the greatest gift of all. Many people have body therapies because they “don’t want” to do the mental work. I understand that and so, please don’t get me wrong they are invaluable but if you don’t bring consciousness to the table then the changes you make are only temporary.
Are your coaching programs tailored for specific individuals?
Yes, my coaching programs are personalized to cater to the unique needs and goals of each individual. Whether you a want coaching for reasons such as improving relationships, spiritual connection, optimising health or seeking healing from the Mother Wound, I will work closely with you to design a program that aligns with your desires and aspirations and which will result in personal growth.
How can I stay updated on your offerings and events?
To stay informed about my coaching programs, trauma healing books, and upcoming events, you can subscribe to my newsletter on the website. By joining the mailing list, you’ll receive regular updates, exclusive content, and early access to any new releases or offerings.