Diabetes During Pregnancy
Are you ready to try to get pregnant but you have diabetes and are wondering what special precautions you will need to take? Maybe you don’t have diabetes but it runs in your family and you are worried about getting gestational diabetes. Women who have diabetes during pregnancy can have a relatively normal pregnancy as long as they follow their doctor’s advice and monitor their blood sugar levels closely.
There are two kinds of diabetes you can have during pregnancy. You can already have preexisting diabetes before getting pregnant, or you could get gestational diabetes after getting pregnant. Normally, the pancreas produces the necessary amount of insulin, which then bonds with the blood glucose, making it available for cell absorption in the body. However, diabetes is a condition where the body either does not produce enough insulin or any insulin at all. With all the hormonal changes, it’s actually common for your blood sugar to be a little higher than normal, but it shouldn’t be too high.
In a diabetic pregnancy, your doctor will have you monitored very closely. Usually, a specific diet is used for women who have diabetes during pregnancy so they can keep their glucose at a healthy level. Large amounts of carbohydrates can cause blood sugars to rise, so your doctor might suggest you have fewer of these. Fiber and protein are excellent choices as they control your blood sugar naturally. Fiber also slows down your digestion system which allows your body to absorb more nutrients. Exercise is wonderful for stabilizing blood sugars too! Your doctor will need to know what your levels are on a daily basis, so he can see if your diet is controlling your blood sugars enough. You can monitor this yourself by using a special device that takes a very tiny drop of blood and tests the levels. Your doctor will show you how to do this. If your blood sugar levels are still too high, your doctor may start giving you insulin injections to make sure that these high levels don’t get to your growing baby.
Some complications can arise from having diabetes during pregnancy so it’s important to know what they are. It’s common for diabetic mothers to have very large babies. What happens is the babies receive too much sugar from their mother’s high blood sugar levels and gain too much weight. If this happens, the baby may be too big for a vaginal birth and have to be delivered by cesarean. After the birth, your baby’s blood levels may drop drastically due to being taken away from his mother’s high sugar source, so most likely, the hospital will monitor him for a few hours afterwards.
During any pregnancy, you have to keep yourself healthy and take extra good care of yourself, but if you have diabetes, you have to take extra precautions to ensure you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Whatever extra steps you have to take, be diligent, don’t stress, and try to enjoy your pregnancy! After all, having a healthy baby will be worth all your effort!