Pregnancy and diabetes. Successfully Conceiving with Diabetes

Bayo Ajibola

Pregnancy and diabetes. Successfully Conceiving with Diabetes. Can Women with Diabetes Get Pregnant?

I have diabetes. What should I know before I get pregnant?

A couple of years ago women with diabetes were advised against having any biological children. This was understandable then considering the complications that can arise from carrying a pregnancy with diabetes. Thankfully, more research has been conducted about this and diabetic women can now get pregnant and have healthy babies. This requires that you take some precautions even before you start trying for the baby.

See a doctor for a check-up

The first thing you need to do is to get yourself checked. Tell your doctor about your intention to have a baby and listen to what they have to say about it. The most likely advice will include:

  • Getting any diabetes-related complications that may get worse with pregnancy treated before you conceive. These include kidney, heart, nerve or eye disease and high blood pressure.
  • You may need to change your diabetes medication if you are on tablets. Oral medication should be replaced with insulin. The doctor may also make changes to your diabetes treatment plan since some medications, such as those given for high blood pressure, aren’t safe to use during pregnancy.

Blood sugar control

You need to keep your blood sugar in check because without that it may cause complications. This begins when preparing to get pregnant. The doctor may keep checking your glycosolated haemoglobin level (HbA1c, which is a reflection of your blood sugar level) and might recommend to you a level that you should reach and maintain for about three months before you conceive. You will need a test kit so that you keep checking regularly.

This is very important because your baby’s spinal cord, brain, heart and other vital organs start to develop as soon as they are conceived. More often than not women are not even aware that they are already pregnant. This means that everything must be in order at this time or else your baby might develop spinal cord, heart or brain defects and your risk of miscarriage increases.

Eat healthy

Diet is important to help keep your blood sugar levels in check at any one time. You should therefore stick to lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plenty of water. Look for foods that improve fertility so that you can help your body along.

Also include prenatal vitamins and supplements before you conceive. These will fill any nutritional gaps and ensure that your baby develops properly from the get-go. Avoid alcohol at all costs because it makes your blood sugar levels jump up and down rapidly.

Weight and exercise

Regular exercise is also important to maintain fitness. Don’t overwork your body but at the same time keep it regular and useful. You can take a brisk walk for starters as you build up to jogging or aerobics.

Being the right weight is important. A body mass index of 27 or more needs to be rectified. You may need to lose weight so as to reduce the risk of complications during pregnancy. You may need to talk to a dietician to help you lose weight and eat right without negatively affecting your blood sugar levels.

The doctor will probably connect you with specialists who will help you get the best possible experience before, during and after pregnancy. Stay in close contact with your doctor and these specialists so as to avoid any incidences.

Another thing you need to do is relax your mind. Many times women worry a lot about whether things will work out or how it will turn out yet the worrying provides no solution. If anything, worrying achieves more negativity than positivity so you are better off without it. Stay happy, take heart, keep hope alive and listen to your doctor.

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Bayo Ajibola

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