Managing your emotional wellbeing
Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can come as an unpleasant shock. You may experience a range of emotions such as anger, sadness, denial or fear. As well as wondering will it hurt the baby? Or will everything be okay? This is all perfectly normal. Everyone experiences this to some degree. Getting the appropriate support and education, will help keep you and your baby healthy. If you find that these feelings become too difficult to deal with, it’s important to talk to your doctor or seek professional help.
The pressure of monitoring and managing gestational diabetes can be stressful. Stress can cause changes in your blood glucose levels and impact on your overall mental health too. It’s important not to panic. This will put additional stress on you and your baby.
Try to set realistic expectations and practical strategies for dealing with your thoughts, feelings and emotions.
- Keep perspective on what you can realistically manage at the moment
- Accept that you can’t control everything, and
- Look for support from family, friends or others who can relate to your situation.
Talk to your GP, midwife or diabetes educator if you need support to manage the emotional impact of your gestational diabetes. Often, we don’t want to reach out, but help from a professional can provide you with the support and strategies you need to have a healthy pregnancy.
Here are some ways to help keep your emotional wellbeing and mental health on track:
- Join a gestational diabetes or pregnancy support group
- Seek professional counselling if you feel overwhelmed or would like someone to talk to.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices, including a healthy balanced diet and enough rest
- Regular exercise is great for gestational diabetes and can produce natural chemicals that make you happier, healthier and make it easier to maintain a balanced perspective
- Make it a priority to do something that you enjoy every day.
Being diagnosed with gestational diabetes can be challenging. Don’t forget family and friends can offer comfort and support. Take time to discuss your feelings with your family and friends. Most people do like to help. Talk to them about how they can best help you through this time.
Diabetes NSW & ACT have a telephone psychology service, where you can speak with a Psychologist who has experience in diabetes. Call 1300 342 238 to access this service or to speak with one of our other Health Professionals who understand diabetes. Or you can talk to your own diabetes educator, GP or your local community health centre.