Women who have diabetes prior to pregnancy require extra medical attention from their health care providers. Not only do diabetic women require special attention and planning before trying to become pregnant, but it is important for the condition to be managed throughout the entire pregnancy. According to the March of Dimes, women who have preexisting diabetes and conceive are considered to have high risk pregnancies. Managing preexisting diabetes, as outlined in this article, can prevent the risk of complications from occurring.
Understand Possible Pregnancy Complications
Diabetic women who become pregnant should have an understanding of the potential risks of the condition. Without proper management of this health condition during pregnancy, there are serious pregnancy complications that could occur. According to the March of Dimes, preexisting diabetes is more likely to lead to stillbirths, miscarriage, birth defects (particularly heart and neural tube defects) and high birth weights which can cause an injury to the baby or may require the woman to have a caesarean-section birth.
Treat Diabetes with Insulin During Pregnancy
Insulin is considered the safest option for treating diabetes during pregnancy. Women who are using other treatment options, such as medications, will need to switch to insulin while they are pregnant. Your doctor may prescribe you a different insulin dosage, especially further along in pregnancy. Some women may become more resistant to insulin while they are pregnant, which is generally due to their increase in weight. Switching to a higher dosage or even another brand of insulin is generally the best way to overcome this problem during pregnancy.
Manage Diabetes with Diet and Exercise
Diet and exercise play an essential role in managing diabetes during pregnancy. It is important to talk to your doctor about a meal plan that is appropriate for both diabetes and pregnancy. Some women may also want to think about visiting a dietitian. Women who have preexisting diabetes should aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day to regulate blood glucose levels. Walking, yoga and water aerobics can all be ideal exercises during pregnancy.
While many women may not realize that preexisting diabetes can affect their pregnancy, there is a chance that it may. That said, not all women will experience pregnancy complications simply due to their diabetes. Any woman who has this condition and becomes pregnant or is trying to become pregnant should talk to her doctor. Proper management of diabetes during pregnancy is one of the best ways to prevent it from causing any complications.
The March of Dimes, “Managing Preexisting Diabetes During Pregnancy.”