Starting a family requires a bit of planning especially you are planning a pregnancy with diabetes. Here we are going to share some simple steps for a mother-to-be with diabetes to make sure that your pregnancy and your baby are safe and healthy.
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Consult your doctor if you are planning a pregnancy with diabetes
Take an appointment with your doctor about 3 to 6 months before you plan to conceive. At that visit, your doctor will:
- Go for an A1C test to find out if your diabetes is well controlled to stop using birth control
- Go for a blood and urine test to know your diabetes-related kidney complications
- Look for other problems related to diabetes, such as nerve, organ, or heart damage
- Go for an eye exam to screen for glaucoma, cataracts, and retinopathy
What is pre-conception counseling?
This is another important step for planning a pregnancy with diabetes. This counseling session will help you get physically and mentally prepared for pregnancy. Here, the doctor will discuss with you about
Your weight: Try to maintain an ideal body weight before getting pregnant. If you have some extra weight, try to lose it, it will help you prevent complications from diabetes. If you’re underweight, gaining some weight makes you less likely to deliver a low-birth-weight baby.
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Your lifestyle: If you do smoking or drinking alcohol you have to stop it. Smoking during pregnancy can affect you and your baby both, during and after birth. When you smoke, the nicotine, carbon monoxide, and other toxins travel through your bloodstream and go directly to your baby. These substances can:
- Deprive the baby of oxygen
- Increase the heart rate of your baby
- Increase the chances of miscarriage and stillbirth
- Raise the chances of a premature, low-birth-weight baby
- Make the baby prone to future problems with the lungs or breathing
Drinking alcohol can also lead to birth defects that include intellectual disability and some certain physical problems. No amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy, and there’s no safe time to drink during pregnancy.
Prenatal vitamins: At least one month before getting pregnant start taking a daily vitamin that has folic acid. It’s been shown to lower the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect like spina bifida, a serious condition in which the brain and spinal cord don’t form normally.
Your blood sugar: Check your blood sugar level regularly if you are planning a pregnancy with diabetes. Because you may not know about your pregnancy until the baby has been growing for 2-4 weeks. High blood sugar during the first 13 weeks can lead to severe complications such as birth defects, miscarriage, and put you at risk for diabetes complications.
Your medications: You need to check your medication too because you need more insulin during pregnancy, especially during the last 3 months. The doctor will tell you to change your dosage. If you take diabetes pills, the doctor may switch you to insulin, because some of these drugs can harm the baby.
Meal planning: You’ll need to make some changes while you’re pregnant to avoid swings in blood sugar levels. You’ll also need to take in more calories to feed your growing baby.
As we all know that every pregnancy is different and when you are planning for pregnancy with diabetes it is entirely different. There are so many things you need to keep in your mind as mentioned above. So, be alert and keep your eyes on each and every tiny aspect.
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