Diabetes is a chronic condition and once you’ve been diagnosed with it, you need to take care of your health by monitoring and keeping your sugar levels in check.
These checks become more important and necessary when you’re pregnant, as your body goes through a lot of changes.
Yes, you can fall pregnant if you have diabetes, but managing your condition becomes important for your own health and the health of your baby.
How will diabetes affect your pregnancy?
Poorly controlled diabetes increases the chances of having a big baby, weighing of more than four kilograms (a larger-than-average newborn). This is caused by the high blood glucose (sugar) that leads to more glucose crossing the placenta, to the baby. All this excess sugar means your baby produces more of the hormone insulin, which changes to fat. This fat will mostly be found around the baby’s shoulders and trunk. This is bad news as it might up your chances of having a difficult labour and birth.
The most common complications of diabetes affect the eyes, kidneys and nervous system. After you’ve delivered your baby, these symptoms usually disappear but you or your baby might need treatment.
Let your doctor know about any changes in your body as these could be symptoms of an underlying condition. Common conditions with pregnant women are:
- Urinary tract infection that leads to fever.
- Swelling in limbs and face.
- Carpal tunnel syndrome that leads to numbness and tingling in hands.
- High blood pressure that leads to fluid build-up.
- Protein in urine.
- Risk of premature delivery.
Most of your baby’s organs start forming during the first trimester of your pregnancy. It’s very important to start controlling your diabetes not just when you are pregnant, but before you even plan to have a child.
A healthy mom means a healthy baby:
- Do a pre-pregnancy test to assess your blood sugar levels. This will help you plan diet and lifestyle changes.
- Check with your doctor if you can continue your current diabetic medications while trying to get pregnant. You’ll most likely be advised to switch to insulin injections.
- Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly. Get a home kit for convenience.
- Exercise regularly and control your diet.
- Since you’re likely to have a high-risk pregnancy, speak to a It’s better to talk with someone who has experience in treating pregnant women with diabetes. This will make for an easier pregnancy journey for you and your baby
Good to know:
Exercise can do a pregnant mom a world of good! It can help to keep your diabetes in check while at the same time contributes to your overall health.
Women who exercise throughout their pregnancy may also experience:
- Increased energy levels.
- A more positive outlook and lower anxiety levels.
- An easier, uncomplicated labour.
- Faster recovery time after giving birth.
- Ability to maintain a steady, reasonable weight gain.
- Less chance of needing a caesarean.
- Faster postpartum weight loss.
- Better sleep quality.