Natalie Sobolewski – Gestational Diabetes Success Story

Anything for my baby – Natalie Sobolewski delivered a healthy baby boy at Methodist Mansfield after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her pregnancy

undefinedFrom the spring 2012 edition of Shine magazine

Natalie Sobolewski is a planner. When she and her husband found out they were expecting, she couldn't wait to decorate her baby boy's room with cute elephants, and she diligently kept up her already healthy lifestyle.

"I thought I was a really healthy pregnant woman because my cravings were for fruit," she says. "I wasn't even thinking about the sugars they contained."

But she soon learned that sugars were something she'd have to think about. Sobolewski was among the almost 1 in 10 pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes, which is associated with a greater chance of having a large baby and may increase the risk for stillbirth.

A plan of action

Sobolewski's OB-GYN, Carolyn Kollar, DO, referred her to the practice of maternal-fetal medicine specialists Kenneth Goldaber, MD, and Luminita Crisan, MD. All three physicians are independently practicing and serve on the medical staff at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

"I'm really impressed with how seriously everyone took my diabetes," Sobolewski says. "It was a huge relief to know I had well-respected doctors looking out for my well-being and the baby's."

At Sobolewski's weekly appointments, a sonographer tracked the baby's development, a certified diabetes educator developed a detailed meal plan, and Drs. Goldaber and Crisan evaluated her blood sugar. Sobolewski followed the plan perfectly, but her blood sugar levels remained high at certain times of the day. Because of her allergies, Sobolewski had to take insulin injections instead of the standard oral medication.

"I have always been a needle-phobe, but once you're caring for a human life inside of you, you want to do everything possible to ensure a healthy outcome," she says. "The diabetes educator made sure I was trained and comfortable using the needle."

A lifelong change for the better

In November, a healthy little Gabriel Mitchell Sobolewski was born, and his mom's gestational diabetes is gone. But Dr. Goldaber emphasizes that Sobolewski's healthy lifestyle changes shouldn't stop here.

"Women with gestational diabetes have a 50 percent chance of developing type 2 diabetes within five years of delivery," he says. "Continuing the meal plan, staying at a healthy weight, and exercising can lessen the risk for or delay the onset of diabetes later in life."

Sounds good to Sobolewski. "I'll have desserts occasionally, but I plan to continue the meal plan to help make sure I'm not part of that 50 percent," she says.