Diabetes Risks During Pregnancy

Every year, some of the over 14 million women with diabetes plan to get pregnant. For the hopeful mother-to-be, maintaining blood sugar presents a very delicate situation. Some women with diabetes take longer to get pregnant and are at risk for miscarriages. The changes in the body during pregnancy, along with fluctuating health issues, bring on a host of challenges.

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Diabetes is a risk to mom and baby

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body does not make enough insulin to process blood sugar effectively. As a result, the disease can lead to a host of dangerous complications over time. Women with diabetes are at risk of having complications that can hurt fertility. Many women with diabetes have underlying issues, including polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irregular periods, obesity, and premature ovarian failure. There is also a risk of preeclampsia, miscarriages, and premature births.

Move to safer medication

Some diabetes medications can affect fertility and pregnancy. Doctors often recommend that patients speak with the medical team about current medications. The doctor will make the necessary changes to drugs that are more conducive to pregnancy. These changes may include prescriptions for any additional conditions as a result of diabetes.

Testing, testing

If HbA1C levels are too high for pregnancy, the medical team will provide a strategy to reduce blood sugar in the coming weeks. Following the plan is vital for success and would involve consistent blood sugar testing. Checking blood glucose levels a few times a day makes sure everything is on track. Use blood sugar monitors that can give an accurate account and record these figures as necessary. Testing for ketones can also help maintain health. Reducing blood sugar and keeping a consistent measurement can take some time. Doctors would recommend steady numbers for at least 2 months before conception.

Be consistent

If the doctor determines that pregnancy is safe, consistency would matter now more than ever. Keep a consistent diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to maintain blood sugar. Doctors will also suggest increasing testing during the conception period. Increased blood sugar can impact the early stages of embryo development. Being consistent can also mean removing any factors that can affect pregnancy, like smoking, alcohol consumption, and caffeine.

A possible road to pregnancy

Diabetes can lead to a host of health issues, including complications related to reduced fertility. Once a doctor confirms no pre-existing conditions, pregnancy is possible. For women planning to get pregnant, controlling blood sugar is vital. Doctors recommend setting up a consultation before getting pregnant and be prepared to increase blood sugar testing.

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