There are no good books discussing gestational diabetes. Believe me, I’ve looked.
I know you’re late in your pregnancy to be thinking about this, but is there any way you could transfer to a new obstetrician? This guy doesn’t seem to be taking your problem very seriously, and while it’s not really life-threatening, it is kind of a big deal, and you deserve a doctor who’s going to have your and your baby’s best interests in mind. He should have had you in immediately to discuss your diet and medication (if any) regime and to talk about the impact of your diagnosis.
This is probably going to be long, but here goes. I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at week 28 of my pregnancy with my first baby. I failed the 1-hour test quite spectacularly (198) and didn’t even need to take the three-hour test, although my doctor wound up ordering it for me anyway, possibly just to cover her butt. I don’t know. Anyway, failed it too, to nobody’s surprise, and immediately was referred to the Joslin Clinic in Seattle, specializing in diabetes care. I spoke with a nutritionist and got put on a relatively strict dietary plan, although not as strict as I remember my Type 2 diabetic grandmother’s diet being. Anyway, after a week of following the diet religiously and still failing to keep my blood sugar in control, I was placed on insulin shots. I continued taking insulin, adjusting my dosages every couple days or so, until Whatsit Jr. was born, at which point I immediately discontinued insulin and was assumed by all the medical staff to have no further problems with blood sugar.
I found, by checking my blood sugar on my own, that my blood sugar actually didn’t return to 100% normal. After much consultation with various doctors, it was determined that I was what they call “impaired glucose tolerant” or “pre-diabetic.” In other words, higher than normal but not officially diabetic. Knowing that my blood glucose numbers were higher than the target ranges for pregnancy, I went to the University of Washington Pregnancy & Diabetes clinic before even attempting to get pregnant with my second baby. They agreed that I should start pre-pregnancy treatment, and I started insulin shots again before even trying to conceive. Got pregnant 3 months later, and 2 months into the pregnancy switched from insulin shots to the insulin pump, which was pretty awesome. Had MiniWhatsit with a minimum of difficulty and discontinued insulin again. So here I am today, still technically “pre-diabetic” and hoping to stay that way.
I’ll share with you the guidelines that my nutritionist initially shared with me. They worked out very well for me during both pregnancies. Basically she had me count carbs, as I expressed a preference for this over the older “exchange” program. Counting carbs gives you a lot more flexibility in what you eat. The plan she placed me on consisted of 30g of carbs at breakfast, a 15g snack between breakfast/lunch, 45g at lunch, 15g snack before dinner, 45g at dinner, and a 10-15g snack before bed. I tested my blood sugar two hours after each meal; the target was less than 120 mg/dL. (During my second pregnancy I also started testing my blood sugar before meals.)
A few nutritional guidelines, also: whole grains take longer to digest and therefore release glucose into your bloodstream more slowly, which means they tend to raise your blood glucose less than refined grains. Try brown rice instead of white rice, whole wheat bread instead of white bread, etc. Avoid “white foods”, i.e. potatoes, white rice, white bread. Always, always, always make sure to eat some protein with your carbs. It slows down glucose absorption, and also you just need a lot of protein when you’re pregnant anyway.
I found personally that getting a brisk walk in after a meal dramatically helped to reduce my blood glucose numbers. Exercise in general will help with your blood glucose, probably. (Apparently not true for everyone, but true for many.)
There’s some excellent gestational diabetes information here: http://plus-size-pregnancy.org/gd/gd_index.html
I also wrote an article on attempting diabetic VBAC that has some basic diabetes and pregnancy info in it here: http://www.storknet.com/cubbies/vbac/diabetic.htm
I would be happy to answer any questions you have. I’ve been dealing with this crap for a long time now and I’ve done a lot of reading and a lot of asking questions about it. I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL and all of the above is personal advice gleaned from my own medical professionals, but I am happy to share my experiences.