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Diabetes and Pregnancy

Diabetes and Pregnancy

If you have diabetes, it does not mean that you cannot deliver a healthy baby, or even that you will have pregnancy complications. It does mean that you will have to pay close attention to your health and have a solid medical team behind you. Before you conceive, find a physician who specializes in diabetes and pregnancy. Once you do conceive, you must find an ophthalmologist, as vision problems are a diabetes complication that is quite common in pregnancy.

You will need to make sure that your blood sugar is stable for at least three months prior to conception, so you should increase your glucose monitoring to 6-8 times per day. After you conceive, your blood sugar needs to be as near normal as possible for at least three months. If you are overweight because of diabetes, you need to get your weight to a normal level before you conceive. You may have fertility problems if you are overweight, and you can suffer from serious health complications during pregnancy. Start slowly by walking, swimming or stretching, and work up to three low intensity workouts a week to get in shape for pregnancy.

Women who become pregnant and do not properly manage diabetes can face hypertension and kidney problems. Your child has a higher risk of becoming obese if you do not watch your insulin closely. Your baby could be born with jaundice - a liver condition that makes the skin turn yellow. In more serious cases, your baby can die from improper blood sugar management during later pregnancy. Avoid these risks by getting your health in check before you conceive.

Your diet plays a huge role in your diabetes management before conception and pregnancy. You must balance your meals with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low fat dairy products. Make sure you are eating at the proper times as determined by your doctor, to avoid your blood sugar dropping too much. Working with your doctor, you can figure out a meal plan that will help with your diabetes management, and tell you what your target blood sugar should be.

Type 2 diabetes needs to be treated with oral medications, but these are not safe for pregnancy. When you become pregnant, you will likely need to start taking insulin instead. Besides being safer for your baby, insulin may allow you to have better control of your blood sugar during pregnancy.


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