Diabetes and Women Pregnancy: – Pregnancy is generally a risky and arduous process for women to undertake. Introduce diabetes into the equation and you might find yourself in a whirlwind of doctor’s visits, tests, and intense, regular monitoring. The frequency of diabetes in pregnancy has been gradually increasing in the United States. There are two types of diabetic women in relation to pregnancy: Those with diabetes pre-pregnancy and those with diabetes diagnosed at the time of pregnancy called gestational diabetes.
Women who have diabetes preceding a pregnancy are already used to routine to address their special health concerns. Those who develop the condition at the onset of gestation find themselves on the same boat, but with added anxiety because of the situation’s alien nature. Health care providers suggest a myriad of ways for women to physically and emotionally prepare for the difficulties involved under both circumstances. We will look at recommendations for managing diabetes in both categories.
Pregnancy affects your blood sugar levels and diabetes medication in addition to the extra amount of stress it places on your body. If you fall into the pre-gestational diabetic class, then your pregnancy may be at risk of the following:Birth defects
- High blood pressure
- Urinary, bladder, and vaginal infections
- Preterm labor and delivery
- Macrosomia (a very large baby)
- Increased risk of diabetes-related eye problems
- Increased risk of diabetes-related kidney problems
- Complications in delivery, including the need for a cesarean.
Women with active diabetes prognosis must undergo a series of steps to lessen the risk for both themselves and the child. There are several methods and points to consider if you are considering getting pregnant as a pre-gestational diabetic woman.
Several Methods and Points
- Experts recommend participating in preconception counseling where you and the doctor will discuss whether your diabetes is controlled well enough to try initiating pregnancy.
- A common way to determine this is through a blood test called the glycosylated hemoglobin test, or HbA1c/A1c.
- Complications that can arise from high blood sugar in the first trimester are the possibility of birth defects and the increase chance of miscarriage.
- Keeping your glucose levels at a safe range is essential before trying to conceive.
- Your diabetes medication must be closely monitored for proper dosage during pregnancy.
- Your doctor might adjust your insulin intake to accommodate your body’s growing need, especially in the last trimester before delivery.
- Extra sugar being converted into fat typically results in bigger babies.
- If your blood sugar levels regularly spike while pregnant, then your baby may need glucose after birth to make up for the sugar intake suddenly being withdrawn.
- Women with pre-gestational diabetes have different concerns based on the severity of their condition.
- Type 1 diabetic women have an increased risk of hypoglycemia in the first trimester.
- Those with type 2 diabetes often battle obesity, and face greater complications than those with type 1 diabetes.
- Keeping a well-balanced diet in conjunction with exercise is critical to maintaining a healthy pregnancy as your baby depends on the nutrition you provide for its growth and development.
- Diet is even more critical for women with diabetes. You need to take more calories for your baby’s nourishment.
- A poor diet can result in your glucose levels reaching extreme levels. A combination of your health and the baby’s health will help your doctor determine the nature of your delivery.
- Oftentimes, women who control their diabetes go full-term without any problems.
- During postpartum recovery, all women, even those with a diabetic chart, are encouraged to nurse their babies.
- Breastfeeding delivers immediate nutritional and immunological benefits to both the mother and the child.
If you develop diabetes after conceiving, then you have gestation diabetes. There are two classes of gestational diabetes: Class A1 and Class-A2. Class A1 is controlled through your diet. Class A2 requires insulin or moral medication to regulate it. Because there are no evident signs or symptoms of gestational diabetes, a prognosis can’t be made without a blood test, called the glucose tolerance test.
Gestational diabetes is usually temporary, but it requires commitment to overcome as it may lead to developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Unlike with pre-gestational diabetes, gestational diabetes affects the mother later in pregnancy once the baby is on its way to being more mature, but still developing. Due to this, birth defects are not a common marker of gestational diabetes. However, that does not mean you should opt to forgo treatment. Your diagnosis can still hurt the baby. High blood sugar is still a very real possibility. The reason behind the onset of gestational diabetes is still unknown, but there have been common risk factors identified. Though all women can develop gestational diabetes, there are some who are at greater risk.
These factors include:
- Women who are age 25 and older.
- A family or personal history of gestational diabetes.
- Being overweight/obese.
- Being a woman of a nonwhite race, including black, Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian.
Many of the same measures taken with pre-gestational diabetes are also applied to women with gestational diabetes such as blood sugar monitoring, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly at your doctor’s discretion, taking your medication, close observation of your baby, and postpartum care.
Dietary Guidelines for Pregnant Women
Diabetes has a reputation for tiring out women’s minds and bodies. Following a strict meal plan can alleviate some of the stress brought on by diabetes. It is strongly recommended to pay a visit to a registered dietician to create a diet tailored to your needs. The strategy will be based on several factors, such as your weight, height, level of physical activity, your level of glucose intolerance, and your growing baby’s requirements. Your own food preferences will also be considered. The dietician will train you by first outlining how many calories you need to consume each day, and then the best way to determine portion sizes. The right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals will be assessed based on your current eating habits.
Here are some general dietary guidelines for pregnant women with diabetes:
- Eat a variety of foods in smaller, more frequent portions throughout the day. You’ll find yourself able to sustain more energy this way, and the practice will also control your blood sugar.
- Eat a hearty breakfast for a fueled start to your day. It’s the best way to align your blood glucose levels first thing in the morning. Limit the carbohydrates (breads, cereal, fruit, and milk) and instead reach for more protein-packed options (eggs, cheese, peanut butter, and nuts).
- Avoid beverages like milk, soda, fruit juice, flavored tea and water, and most desserts.
- Prioritize high-fiber and whole-grain foods.
Exercise Guidelines for Pregnant Women with Diabetes
Before you go running to the gym, your doctor should approve your physical activity itinerary to ensure that yours and your baby’s safety is prioritized. Activities that present a high risk of falling should be avoided. Examples of fun, convenient, and benign workouts include:
- Hula hooping
- Moderate swimming
- Game consoles (e.g. Wii Fit)
- Belly dancing
Aim for 30 minutes of daily exercise. Don’t hesitate to hire a prenatal personal trainer that will walk you through an approved and personalized activity log. Always keep your insulin levels in mind while exercising. You should immediately consult your doctor and discontinue all physical activity in the event of an abnormal health manifestation.
Diabetes and women pregnancy Tips Recap
Having diabetes while pregnant does not mean that you cannot achieve the same results as a woman without diabetes. You are fully capable of giving birth to a beautiful, healthy baby by taking care of yourself and your baby for the duration of your pregnancy. Here are some important points to remember:
- If you are a pre-gestational diabetic, start planning the necessary steps to take to ensure a healthy pregnancy by communicating with your endocrinologist and gynecologist about the current condition of your diabetes.
- Ask your doctor about medications, supplements, and vitamins. Folic acid is commonly taken for the baby’s healthy growth and development.
- Take prenatal vitamins at your doctor’s suggestion.
- Discuss with your doctor about your targeted blood glucose goals.
- Attend all your prenatal appointments and never miss a chance to see your doctor and discuss any questions or concerns you might have. Immediately bring up any unusual symptoms.
- Support your pregnancy with a healthy, portioned diet that compromises of an assortment of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nonfat dairy products, beans, fish, and lean meats.
- Exercise every day. Intensity and vigor of activity should be discussed and permitted by your doctor, and maintained by you.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep to prevent unneeded exhaustion throughout the day.
- In case of a medical emergency, your spouse, partner, or guardian should be aware of what to do. Usually, this entails calling your doctor or an ambulance in more severe instances.
- If you are a gestational diabetes patient, your goal should be to prevent a similar occurrence in all future pregnancies. Losing weight after delivery is key, and can be accomplished by simple changes in lifestyle.
A healthy baby is the product of a healthy pregnancy. With the help and cooperation of well-trained health professionals, diabetes should not stand in the way of your motherhood dreams.
“Diabetes and Women Pregnancy”
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