In the past, women with diabetes were discouraged from becoming pregnant at all. There are many risks associated with diabetes in pregnancy that could negatively affect both the mother and her baby. If you currently have diabetes and are thinking of becoming pregnant, advances in technology will allow you to have a relatively normal pregnancy with no major complications. However, for women with diabetes, it is essential that the condition is kept under control for the entire duration of the pregnancy. If it is not, the complications will be numerous.
If you have diabetes and motherhood is your next goal, you should begin to prepare even before you actually become pregnant. High levels of blood glucose in the first trimester of pregnancy have proven to be the most detrimental to your baby’s development, so getting your levels under control before conception is essential. Beyond establishing healthy blood glucose levels, it is important that you establish a healthy lifestyle. Since maintaining steady levels through the pregnancy is important, your plan should be sustainable.
Once you become pregnant with diabetes, make sure you check your blood glucose levels even more than you normally would. Your body will be going through some major changes, and although you’ve been able to feel and predict its levels for years, it will certainly become more unpredictable. Speak with your health care provider about a pregnancy plan that includes diet, exercise and insulin guidelines.
When it’s finally time for delivery, you’ll need to speak with your doctor about when and how you’d like to deliver your baby. Since larger-than-normal babies are a common side effect of diabetes in pregnancy, a planned cesarean section might help keep you and the baby safe during birth. No matter how you decide to deliver, your doctor will need to keep track of your insulin throughout the delivery. After delivery, your blood glucose levels may seem out of control, so it’s important to stay on top of it for the following weeks.
If you have diabetes for the duration of your pregnancy—whether it’s Type One, Type Two, or even Gestational—it is extremely important for both you and your baby to stay on top of your blood glucose levels throughout the pregnancy and even afterward. Blood glucose levels that become drastically high or drastically low could affect the development of your child and could risk your own life as well.