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Published on June 25, 2018

pregnant woman looking at phone

Gestational Diabetes Team Supports Expecting Mom Daily via App

When Tina Rank Dikoff, a registered nurse at Avera, learned that she had gestational diabetes during her pregnancy, she was in shock. It was especially surprising because she hadn’t experienced gestational diabetes during her previous pregnancies and was diligent about maintaining a healthy diet and exercise.

“My first thought was, ‘How could this happen to me?’ I’d been eating right and exercising. I couldn’t imagine that it could happen to me” she recalled.

Her doctor reassured her that gestational diabetes is temporary and that she would learn a lot of good things about how to manage it with nutrition, exercise, daily blood testing and monitoring, and insulin injections, if needed.

He also told her about a new program which would allow their team to keep a close eye on her blood sugar levels.

Close Monitoring through a Virtual Connection

This new program – known as the Before Baby: Avera Remote Gestational Diabetes Monitor Project – features blood sugar testing and monitoring through the OneTouch Reveal® app and virtual visits.

As part of the program, Dikoff could easily connect with her care team – including a certified diabetes educator, registered dietitian and perinatal nurse. In fact, each time she tested her blood sugar, the glucose monitor automatically uploaded the data to the cloud where her team could monitor her progress in real time.

She could also talk with them via emails, phone calls and virtual visits as often as she needed to, instead of making weekly trips to the doctor’s office.

Team Approach to Maintaining a Health Pregnancy

To get started, Dikoff met with a registered dietitian who talked with her about food and nutrition, including how many carbohydrates to have each day and how to set up a meal plan. A registered nurse educator showed her how to check blood sugar, how often to check and what her blood sugar numbers should be.

“As a nurse, I thought it would be easy, but when I did have trouble with my numbers it was kind of a wake-up call,” she confessed. “I learned that everyone reacts differently to carbs so you have to follow the directions, but also give it time, try some new things and figure out what works for you.”

“Even though I was very strict with my diet, I still had morning glucoses that were out of range. My team helped calm me down by telling me, ‘It’s OK. Let’s try something else.’”

For example, Dikoff ’s dietitian gave her ideas of evening snacks that could help stabilize her blood sugar until morning.

“She gave me ideas of things to try that I never would have thought of,” she added. “My team and this technology are awesome. They were always there for me and helped me have a healthy baby.”

Worth It All

Thanks to Dikoff ’s dedication to maintaining a healthy pregnancy, the support of her family and friends, and easy access to her care team, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl – Irelynn – born weighing in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce.

“Receiving a gestational diabetes diagnosis can be scary at first, but there’s no need to freak out. They help you out so much,” reassured Dikoff. “And when you have a healthy baby, it’s all worth it.”

Learn more about the Before Baby: Avera Remote Gestational Diabetes Monitor Project.

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