If you have diabetes, you may be wondering how it will affect your pregnancy. Diabetes can complicate pregnancies, but with proper planning and care, you can have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Before you start trying to get pregnant, it’s important to get your diabetes under control. This will help reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy. Once you’re pregnant, you’ll need to closely monitor your blood sugar levels and work with your healthcare team to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Here are some things to keep in mind before and during pregnancy with diabetes:
What to Do Before Conception if You Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes and are planning a pregnancy, it’s important to start preparing well before conception. By making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can help keep your blood sugar levels under control and minimize the risks to both you and your baby.
Before trying to conceive, be sure to speak with an obstetrician who handles high-risk pregnancies or who has had experience treating pregnant women with diabetes. He or she can help you manage your diabetes during pregnancy. They will be able to give you specific advice based on your individual situation.
Get Your Diabetes Under Control Preconception
Getting your blood sugar levels under control before trying to get pregnant can help reduce the risks associated with diabetes in pregnancy. If you’re already pregnant, working to lower your blood sugar levels can still help improve outcomes for both you and your baby. High blood sugar levels can cause problems for both you and your baby during pregnancy.
What Are the Risks of Being Pregnant with Diabetes?
If you have diabetes and are pregnant, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with the condition. Here are some of the biggest dangers:
- Increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth.
- Higher chance of developing preeclampsia, a serious condition that can cause problems for both mother and baby.
- Babies born to mothers with diabetes are at risk for macrosomia, which is when they are larger than average at birth. This can lead to complications during delivery.
- There is also an increased risk of congenital abnormalities in babies born to diabetic mothers. Some of these abnormalities include neural tube defects, heart defects, and cleft palate.
- If you have diabetes and are pregnant, you’re also at a higher risk for developing gestational diabetes. This is a type of diabetes that only occurs during pregnancy and usually goes away after the baby is born. However, if you have gestational diabetes, you’re more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
If you have diabetes and are thinking about becoming pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor first. They can help you manage your condition and minimize the risks associated with it.
Avoid Smoking or Drinking Alcohol
Smoking cigarettes is one of the worst things you can do if you have diabetes. Smoking damages your blood vessels and makes it harder for your body to process sugar. This combination can lead to serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
While moderate alcohol consumption may be safe for some people with diabetes, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with excessive drinking. Alcohol can cause your blood sugar to spike, which can lead to dangerous complications.
Smoking and drinking can both cause serious complications for people with diabetes. If you have diabetes, it’s important to quit smoking and drink alcohol only in moderation. By doing so, you’ll help keep your diabetes under control and reduce your risk of developing serious complications.
Smoking and drinking alcohol when pregnant (even without diabetes) should be avoided. Pregnant women who drink alcohol or smoke tobacco are at an increased risk for having a miscarriage, stillbirth, or premature delivery. Alcohol and smoking can also cause health problems for the baby after it is born.
What to Do During Pregnancy if You are Diabetic
If you have diabetes and get pregnant, talk to your doctor about how to best manage your condition. Some of the steps you will want to take with diabetes while pregnant include:
1. Schedule Regular Checkups with Your Obstetrician or Gynecologist
Tell your obstetrician about your diabetes as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. This will help ensure that you and your baby have a healthy pregnancy. It’s important to tell your obstetrician that you have diabetes when you’re pregnant so they can provide the best care possible. Diabetes can complicate pregnancy, and your obstetrician will need to monitor you closely. They may also need to adjust your medication regimen.
2. Get Essential Nutrients
Essential nutrients are important for people with diabetes. They help the body to better process glucose, which is vital for managing blood sugar levels and overall health and well-being.
While pregnant, take a prenatal vitamin and make sure you’re getting enough calcium and vitamin D.
3. Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels Closely
It’s important to keep track of your blood sugar levels during pregnancy, especially if you have diabetes. Make sure to check your levels regularly and adjust your medications as needed. Be prepared to adjust your insulin doses as needed.
4. Focus on Nutrition
Eating a healthy diet is key when pregnant with diabetes. Make sure to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein in your diet. Avoid unhealthy foods and sugary drinks.
5. Get Active
Staying active is important when pregnant, and it’s especially important if you have diabetes. Exercise helps to lower blood sugar levels by increasing the amount of insulin your body produces and by helping your body to use sugar more effectively. Try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day.
6. Take care of Yourself During Pregnancy with Diabetes
Pregnancy can be a lot of work, both physically and emotionally. Make sure to take time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate. This will help you stay healthy both mentally and physically during pregnancy.
What is Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that can occur during pregnancy. It is caused by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin, which leads to high blood sugar levels.
Gestational diabetes usually goes away after the baby is born, but it can increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
What Are Symptoms of Gestational Diabetes?
If you are pregnant and have been experiencing some of the following symptoms, you may have gestational diabetes:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Extreme hunger
- Weight gain or sudden weight loss
These are not the only possible symptoms, so if you have any concerns, please speak to your doctor. Gestational diabetes can cause health problems for both mother and baby, so it is important to get diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
What Changes Do You Have to Make if You Develop Gestational Diabetes?
If you develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy, your obstetrician will need to closely monitor your blood sugar levels and provide guidance on how to keep them under control. Gestational diabetes can increase the risk of complications for both mother and baby.
Contact a Reputable OBGYN to Make Pregnancy Plan with Diabetes
If you have diabetes and desire to get pregnant, then it is important to contact a reputable OBGYN to discuss how to properly prepare. This is a crucial step to ensuring both you and your baby stay healthy throughout pregnancy and after. An OBGYN will be able to help you outline a preconception and post conception plan and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
Brevard Health Alliance in Florida can help connect you to the obstetric services you need. Contact us today to schedule an appointment! By taking these steps, you can help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for both you and your baby.