Questions for your first appointment with a diabetes educator

Written by Lisa Taylor, Founder & Writer of

Last updated July 2014

So you’ve just been diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GDM) and you haven’t had your first appointment with your diabetes educator or dietitian yet. Arriving at that appointment with some questions ready to ask is going to help you feel prepared and in control.

‘But I don’t know what I don’t know,’ is a common call amongst women with GDM. And it makes sense. There is a lot to know once you get started. It helps to focus that first appointment on questions that are about getting you through that first week or two. Be sure to keep a note of other questions as they come up, either in your phone or in a notebook.

Here’s what GDM and Girl Scouts have in common

You’re probably going to see a recurring theme with GDM. It’s preparedness. Whether it’s preparing your kitchen to be GDM-friendly, going food shopping according to the meal plan you‘ve written up for the week ahead, having GDM-friendly snacks on hand to avoid eating the wrong thing, researching insulin in case that comes up for you or finding out the best food choices for eating out. Giving yourself the chance to be prepared will keep you on track not only physically but also mentally and emotionally. And this all plays a part in successful GDM management.

Your journey with GDM doesn’t have to be scary, depressing, stressful or horrible. (Well at least not all of the time.) You can make it what you want it to be. And by educating yourself, asking questions and giving yourself a chance, you will get through it knowing that you are doing the best you can for you and your baby.

At your first appointment

Your first appointment with your educator or dietitian might only be 30 minutes long. During this time they will want to explain to you:

  • the basics of GDM and your new diet,
  • give you a blood glucose level testing machine, show you how to use it and record your results,
  • give you some information about how to manage your carbohydrate intake (and what foods contain carbohydrates),
  • and they might also tell you about the risks involved with GDM.

Take a friend & ask them to take notes

It can be hard to take all this information in and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and leave feeling more confused than when you arrived. So think about taking your partner, a friend or someone else who can write notes for you so you can just listen. Be sure to let your educator know at the beginning of the appointment that you have some questions you’d like to ask. They may get answered along the way, but do make the time to ask because it’s important to not leave feeling nervous about the following week.

Don’t be afraid to say ‘I don’t understand’

Sure, your educator has a lot of information to cover in that first appointment. But if you don’t understand or you’re confused you might be focussing on gathering the courage to interrupt them instead of hearing what they are saying. Ask them to repeat things or explain it in a different way. Don’t feel silly, bullied or out of time. This is your health and the wellbeing of your baby that is in question. Only you can make this experience what you what it to be.

Before your first appointment

We recommend reading the following links from our website to help you get your head around your diagnosis.

Understanding GDM
Eating Well with GDM
I know what you ate last summer…And it didn’t give you GDM
Myth-busting insulin for gestational diabetes

Questions for your first appointment

  • Is this my fault?
  • Have I had GDM all along and it’s only being picked up now?
  • I’m really scared about injecting insulin. Will I have to?
  • If carbs are the problem, can I just stop eating them and increase protein, vegetables and fat?
  • Tell your educator about how you’ve been cooking and eating until now. Ask what simple or more radical changes you can make that could improve things for GDM.
  • When I buy packaged food, how can I work out exactly how much to eat or cook with so I keep to my carbohydrate allowance each meal?
  • I’ve heard it can be hard to manage blood glucose levels (BGLs) overnight. Is there anything I can do about that?
  • Who can I contact if I have more questions before my next appointment?
  • Who can I talk to if I am feeling depressed or stressed out about all this (knowing that stress can negatively impact my BGLs)?

These questions are just a starting point. Please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section below, or come back later and tell us how you went.

After your first appointment

We recommend you have a read of these articles to give you some inspiration, ideas and tips for the road ahead.

Pregnancy Nutrition
Eating out with gestational diabetes
How to snack right with gestational diabetes
Other Mothers

Keep in touch with us by commenting below or on our Facebook page or by emailing lisa [at]

  • Chrissy says:

    I’m so glad I found your site! I just failed my 3 hour glucose yesterday and they aren’t getting me into the doctors until next week so I have been freaking out. Thank you for all of the great info! This really helps a lot.

    • Lisa says:

      Hey Chrissy. How are you doing? Lisa x

    • Emily says:

      I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes last week. Met my educator yesterday and got my guidelines. I’ve been reading all I can. I’m a little nervous about if I can regulate my levels regualrly.

  • Michelle Overby says:

    Like Chrissy, I am so happy to have found this site. I am a nurse-midwife in North Carolina, USA and have at least 3-5 women a month who are diagnosed with GDM. I will be recommending your site to all of these women. Thank you!!!

    Michelle Overby

  • lauren says:

    I just found your Facebook page and now website and it it awesome! I got diagnosed today and have SOOOOO many questions. I see my endocrinologist Friday but I didn’t even know what to eat for dinner tonight. All afternoon I’ve been to scared to eat anything but this website has really helped and I’m feeling a whole lot better about doing some grocery shopping. Thank you!

  • Jess Thomson says:

    Hi there , thank you for the great information i have just been diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and i wont be seeing my specialist till nxt week and im freaking out..just wondering if you had any eating plans for Gestational Diabetes at all you could kindly email?

    Thanks again

  • Heather says:

    So glad to find this info. I had a letter arrived today to inform me of GD and I don’t have an appointment to 16th January over 3wks (I suppose due to the holidays. It’s Christmas tomorrow feeling gutted and confused at the moment as to what I can eat along with guilt that I’ve brought this on myself. Glad to find this info though for some positivity!

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I’m Lisa Taylor, the mum behind GDRecipes. I created this site after having GDM myself & because I love food. I’d like to inspire, motivate & support you to cook & eat well during your pregnancy with GDM & beyond. Come read my story. My kitchen is your kitchen. ... Read more

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