Pregnancy is a journey through which almost every woman would want to travel at least once in her lifetime. For some this journey is a cake walk, without any hindrance, making it an enjoyable experience. Whereas for some, challenges begin from the time they plan to have a baby, like it is in case of women suffering from type 1 diabetes. During pregnancy various factors come into play like hormonal changes, mood swings, nausea, vomiting, cravings, etc. Hence, it becomes more difficult to have good control over your blood sugar levels.
For any woman suffering from type 1 diabetes, it is very important to control her blood sugar levels from the day she plans to conceive, till the baby is delivered. Also, it is advisable that she works with an experienced gynecologist/obstetrician along with the supervision of an endocrinologist who has worked with such patients previously.
During pregnancy, a diabetic woman would face a lot of challenges because of strict sugar control. The following strategies will ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby:
During pregnancy, the probability of suffering from hypoglycemia increases a lot, hence be aware of its signs and symptoms and try to educate people around you so they are well-equipped to handle an emergency. Always keep a fast-acting carbohydrate handy. Hypoglycemia limits the mother’s amount of glucose stores, which may affect the developing infant and hence, is at risk of developing various long-term conditions, such as cognitive deficits, developmental abnormalities, and hypertension.
During pregnancy, the need of insulin also increases significantly. Insulin itself does not have any side effects on the baby, but high blood sugar does. The main concern is congenital malformations in the form of neural tube defects (such as spina bifida) and congenital malformations of the heart.
Learn not to give in to your sugar cravings easily because this will disrupt your sugar levels. Always try opting for healthier alternatives to suffice your sweet tooth. Keep tab of your calories so you know when you can indulge.
A continuous glucose monitor could be a very useful tool to keep a close watch on your blood glucose level. This device gives speedy feedback on your blood sugar levels and rates of change, so you can alter your routine immediately.
It is very important that a diabetic woman maintain tight control over her blood sugar before she plans another pregnancy. Hence, it is necessary for her to opt for adequate birth control post-delivery. Always discuss about the family planning methods you prefer with your doctor, so they can be put in place after delivery.
Occasional fluctuation in your glucose levels would not harm the baby if your HbA1C is under control. Having a baby has always been tough and if you have type 1 diabetes, you must be more cautious to ensure a healthy baby.