KR is a mother of three who has access to Maven through her job at a leading financial and global information services company. While in her third trimester with her third child, she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD). She looked to Maven for nutritional support, emotional support, and guidance, all the way through to her successful pregnancy.

“The first two weeks, my sugar level was awful. My doctor told me ‘you can’t eat like this, you need to do better. If you don’t take care of yourself, your baby could die.’ Him telling me my baby could die stuck with me, and terrified me.”

A life-threatening diagnosis, a common experience

After having two daughters, KR was unsure whether she wanted another child, but she concluded she’d regret not trying for a third. As she and her husband started trying to conceive, KR decided to check out Maven, and spoke with a provider on the Maven network about fertility. After receiving some advice, and shortly thereafter becoming pregnant, KR carried on through the first and second trimesters with no issues.

However, during a routine screening, KR was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GD), a type of diabetes that occurs in women during pregnancy. GD occurs in up to 10% of pregnant women in the US each year, and can result in excessive birth weight, premature birth, higher risks of obesity or diabetes later in life, and even stillbirth. It’s often managed with diet and exercise, although more severe cases require insulin injections. KR’s doctor instructed her to write down everything she ate until her next visit, without much guidance beyond that. 

“The first two weeks, my sugar level was awful. My doctor told me ‘you can’t eat like this, you need to do better. If you don’t take care of yourself, your baby could die.’ Him telling me my baby could die stuck with me, and terrified me.”

KR’s doctor referred her to a nutritionist who specializes in GD, who reiterated many of the same things her doctor had said — and stoked the fear that her baby was in danger. However, what KR did not receive was empathy about her situation from her regular doctor, nor an approach to dieting that could work for her. She’d do her best to follow the nutritionist’s instructions, but her blood sugar levels were still not where they needed to be. 

“I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing, but there was no guidance as to what I should or shouldn’t do, just that I needed to eat less...the nutritionist gave me a big chart of all the foods I should avoid, but I didn’t know how to actually interpret it and make it work.”

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Saving the baby’s life through holistic nutritional support

After meeting with her doctor again, KR’s levels were still not where they needed to be. He reprimanded her for being “irresponsible,” and “was so mean to me I started to cry…All I could think about was my baby dying.”

The next day, KR went onto Maven to find another nutritionist who could help her more often than the specialist to whom she was referred. Within an hour, she had scheduled an appointment with a nutritionist on Maven. She listened to KR’s story, and much like the other nutritionist, asked her to go over what she eats on a typical day. The nutritionist quickly devised a plan that worked with the things KR liked to eat, and came up with helpful suggestions and substitutions to lower her caloric intake and blood sugar.

“Instead of telling me not to eat, she helped me rearrange how I eat. She helped me find a structure that let me eat what I wanted while maintaining a balance.” KR spoke to her Maven provider almost daily, whether it was a simple check in or a full meal plan review. As a result of her diagnosis, and the suggestion that her baby was in danger, KR felt this pregnancy was “extremely stressful,” and as her delivery date approached she found herself, “praying to God please don’t take my baby.”

"She never made me feel like I was nothing. She always boosted my confidence, and made me feel good about myself and my pregnancy. That woman saved me.”

Centralizing resources to promote better outcomes

With a newfound structure, a diet that worked with her instead of against her, and the one-to-one care provided through Maven, KR was able to manage her GD successfully.

By working with her Maven provider, she was able to lose 27 pounds and give birth to a healthy baby boy with no complications. “She guided me through the process...that was what I needed. I needed someone to say you can eat all the chicken in the world but this is how you need to eat it.”

It wasn’t just the guidance that made KR’s new diet so effective, it was the availability and confidence instilled in her by her Maven provider that helped make the difference. KR felt heard, understood, and respected. “She never made me feel like I was nothing. She always boosted my confidence, and made me feel good about myself and my pregnancy. That woman saved me.”

According to a 2020 study, researchers found that “women who perceived greater discrimination had an increased risk of developing gestational diabetes mellitus.” Through one-to-one care from a provider who could take the time to listen to and empathize with KR, she was able to avoid unnecessary treatments down the line. 

Reflecting on her experience with the platform, the only thing KR wishes is that her company offered Maven for parenting and pediatrics as well. “There is a doctor for everything for everyone, for every stage of the pregnancy. Maven had a virtual meeting and classes for everything that pertained to me, and had content personalized to my specific needs.”

Maven offers support for the entire maternal journey, including fertility, pregnancy, and parenting and pediatrics. To learn more about how Maven can help support mothers-to-be in your organization, request a demo today.

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