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Tips to take care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy if you are diabetic

by DrPrem Jagyasi

Diabetes occurs when the sugar levels in the blood increase significantly. If you are diabetic and intend to get pregnant, there are several pointers you need to consider beforehand. In addition to Type 1 and 2 diabetes, you also stand chances of getting gestational diabetes which may affect your pregnancy in a number of ways. So here are some tips that you need to follow if you are diabetic and want to get pregnant (or are already pregnant).

Risks of Diabetes on the Health of the Mother and Baby

Risks of Diabetes

Diabetes can lead to complications during and after pregnancy, including:

  • Worsening diabetes related problems like heart disease, eyesight problems and kidney diseases, etc.
  • Increasing the chances of miscarriage
  • Increasing the chances of premature delivery
  • Increasing the chances of giving birth to a large baby
  • Increasing the chances of dangerously low blood sugar levels in the baby right after birth
  • Increasing the chances of birth defects in the newborn
  • Increasing the chances of developing life threatening conditions like preeclampsia

Tips to Handle Pregnancy Better while Diabetic

Healthy pregnancy eating salad

Diabetic women can handle pregnancy in a better way by following some essential tips before, during and after their pregnancy. These include:

  • Planning ahead

It is essential that you talk to your doctor about getting pregnant beforehand if you are diabetic. Your doctor or healthcare team can work with you to maintain your sugar levels during pregnancy and afterwards, thus ensuring you and your baby are in good health throughout this period.

  • Planning your diet accordingly

You will need to make significant changes to your diet during pregnancy in order to prevent problems related to diabetes. Speak to your doctor or healthcare team as to the best means of nutrition for you during this period.

  • Opting for regular consultations

If you are diabetic and pregnant, chances are you may need to opt for more number of consultations with your healthcare team than other expecting mothers. In addition to a gynecologist, you will also need to consult other specialists like an obstetrician who has handled high risk pregnancies before, an eye specialist to monitor the effects of diabetes on your eyes and a pediatrician to check your baby’s health regularly post childbirth.

  • Switching to Insulin

Switching to Insulin

Certain oral medications for diabetes may be harmful for pregnant women. Talk to your doctor about switching to insulin during your pregnancy and stick to the prescribed dosage instead of self-medicating.

  • Stashingup on carbs and healthy snacks

Morning sickness can be hard to handle, especially if you need to get an insulin shot and have a hard time keeping anything in your stomach. Stash up on some healthy snacks to have first thing in the morning before getting out of bed so that you can have your insulin shot without any hassles later on. Insulin can also lead to hypoglycemia (your blood sugar levels drop rapidly) at times. So stash up on carbs, juices and even glucose tablets to reverse this condition as and when it occurs.

Diabetic women can face certain risks and complications during pregnancy. However, with the use of certain tips and careful planning, they can easily overcome these risks to give birth to a healthy baby while taking care of their health as well.

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