Diabetes And Pregnancy Preparation

There was a time when the medical profession discouraged women with diabetes from pregnancy and childbearing. Medicine has come a long way since then and with the advances in insulin use and diet management, women with diabetes have greatly improved their chances for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

The Discipline Of Controlling Blood Sugar

The constant discipline that appears in both gestational and pre-existing diabetes is blood sugar control. It has to be properly maintained throughout pregnancy, so good planning and an excellent regimen that will safeguard both mother and baby are very important. For a woman with pre-existing diabetes, stringent control of blood sugar before conception and throughout the entire pregnancy is critical to ensure the baby does not grow too large.

Avoiding The Risks Diabetes Can Present

In order to avoid the risks diabetes can present, it is important for a woman to achieve excellent blood sugar control at least six months prior to conception. It requires proper diet, exercise and insulin in the right proportions to attain good control, so a woman can’t begin too early when she is planning to have a baby. It may be a good idea to watch your sugar intake with a glucose meter to ensure that you are not putting a child at risk.

Most diabetic-related fetal birth defects happen before a woman even knows she is pregnant, due mostly to fetal exposure to the high blood sugars in the diabetic mother’s blood during the first two weeks of development. Sadly, these defects can’t be changed or fixed by proper blood sugar control later in the pregnancy.

What Happens To Baby When Mom’s Blood Sugar Is Too High

Even with proper controls, women with pre-existing or gestational diabetes can tend towards having larger babies since their high blood sugar levels feed the baby glucose through the placenta. The babies respond to these high levels of blood sugar with increased growth which is mostly stored as fat. They will eventually develop high insulin levels of their own, leading to a potential infant risk of severe postpartum hypoglycaemia. This occurs when the baby’s insulin levels remain high after birth and the mother’s glucose can no longer affect them.

How To Control Blood Sugar Before Becoming Pregnant

In order to take control of blood sugar and the effects of diabetes before becoming pregnant, it is recommended that a woman reach near ideal body weight and that she follow a diet that provides good control of sugar. Insulin injections before meals and the use of intermediate acting insulin help a woman to avoid hyper and hypoglycemia. Regular daily blood testing and food control in the form of carb counting help stabilize blood sugar before pregnancy.

Managing diabetes before and during pregnancy is a lifestyle choice and once it becomes a way of life, then it ceases to be work. Lower fat foods, plenty of exercise and enough rest are all important components of a lifestyle that will help a woman with diabetes control her blood sugar levels to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth.

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