This episode we’re talking to Lily Nichols, RDN, CDE about gestational diabetes. Lily is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, Certified Diabetes Educator, researcher, and author with a passion for evidence-based prenatal nutrition and exercise. Her work is known for being research-focused, thorough, and unapologetically critical of outdated dietary guidelines. She’s the author of two bestselling books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes. Here’s what we covered in our conversation with her:
- How Lily got into this field (specifically, how the outdated approach to treating GD piqued her interest)
- The definition of gestational diabetes
- How GD is diagnosed, including the evidence for using A1C levels as a diagnostic indicator of GD in early pregnancy
- The different classifications of GD and how each one is treated
- Why having GD can be a big deal both during pregnancy and for the remainder of a pregnant person’s life
- The potential complications and risk factors than can occur when someone has GD/high blood sugar in pregnancy
- The potential negative consequences of chronically unmanaged blood sugar levels for a baby (both in utero/during birth and for the rest of their lives)
- A discussion about standard GD testing methods and possible alternatives
- Lily’s two blog posts about her own experience with the Glucola test
- Another great article by Lily on common myths about GD – https://lilynicholsrdn.com/9-gestational-diabetes-myths/
- A discussion about ketosis in pregnancy and whether it’s actually harmful for a developing baby
- The important role that exercise plays in blood sugar management
- How vitamin D supplementation can impact blood sugar regulation in pregnancy
- The relationship between the microbiome and blood sugar control
Click here to check out Lily’s website and access all of the resources she has to offer (including some great freebies!). You can follow Lily on Instagram and Facebook and buy her two amazing books, Real Food for Pregnancy and Real Food for Gestational Diabetes.
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I loved this episode. I actually just had my baby and used Lily’s book on GD to help manage my blood sugar. Despite all the warnings from my care team that insulin was just over the horizon, I was able to keep my blood sugar in a happy range with food alone. It was so empowering to know that *I* did this.
Bub is doing well also, extremely alert, no low blood sugar at birth, and a perfect birthweight of 7lb 9oz. To everyone who thinks GD is going to ruin their pregnancy or birth, it doesn’t have to! I actually think I had a healthier pregnancy because of it.