Having a baby is a joyous milestone in life, but what if you are diagnosed with diabetes? Can it pose a health risk for you and your unborn child?
Yes, it does. At the development stages of the unborn baby, high blood glucose levels due to diabetes can harm the baby, resulting in heart, brain or spine defects, weight issues, and in some drastic cases increase the chances of miscarriage or stillborn.
So how does one avoid the more unfortunate and ensure you can still have a healthy baby?
Pregnancy is a stage where your body changes in many ways. Physical and hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy affects your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change your lifestyle for the better That involves changing your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines such as to insulin. If you already have diabetes, it’s helpful to keep your blood glucose level as close to normal as possible before or during your pregnancy to ensure the safety and health of the baby. It’s also advisable to getting checkups before and during pregnancy, following your diabetes meal plan, being physically active as the doctor advises. Also, not just in the case of diabetes, but you should stop smoking and consuming alcohol to ensure the baby’s safety.
Can Diabetes Affect My Health During Pregnancy?
In the event your blood glucose level is high, there are cases where pregnancy can worsen certain diabetes-related problems such as eye problems and kidney disease. This brings a greater chance of developing preeclampsia, where high blood pressure causes too much protein in your urine during the second half of pregnancy. This can cause problems for you and your baby. The only cure for preeclampsia is to give birth. If you have preeclampsia and have reached 37 weeks of pregnancy, your doctor may advise you to deliver your baby early.
Before getting pregnant, it’s always better to have checkups for problems such as high blood pressure, eye disease, kidney diseases or nerve damages. Pregnancy can make some diabetes health problems worse. To help prevent this, your health care team may recommend adjusting your treatment before you get pregnant.
What Should I Do?
Adjust your diet – It is better to see a dietitian and adjust yourself a meal plan which brings a flow of nutrients and energy to your body. Also, it helps filter out food which you should avoid when having diabetes. Your dietitian can help you learn what to eat, how much to eat, and when to eat to reach or stay at a healthy weight before you get pregnant. This meal plan should help schedule food preferences, medical conditions, medicines, and physical activity routine.
Physical activity – This helps to reach your target blood glucose numbers. Being physically active can also help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels in a healthy range, relieve stress, strengthen your heart and bones, improve muscle strength, and keep your joints flexible. It is advisable to see your doctor and prescribe yourself a physical workout plan which fits your physique as well as health.
Check your meds – Some medicine is not safe for your body and your baby during pregnancy. Make sure to tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, such as those for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Your doctor can advise you on what medicine you should take or stop taking, as well as prescribe an alternative medicine. Most often, doctors prescribe insulin for both type 1 and 2 diabetes. If you are already taking insulin, you may need to change the kind, quantity or frequency of taking it.
Even if you may be diagnosed with diabetes, it should not stop you from enjoying that beautiful dream of having a baby. As long as you take care of your health, body and diet well, as well as keep your doctor updated on your health status often, you are set to celebrate the coming of that new member to your family.