Diabetes and Pregnancy - Health Risks and Ways to Manage

Diabetes and Pregnancy - Health Risks and Ways to Manage

Most of the women get anxious, sensitive and fearful when they get pregnant and goes through it. After all, carrying a life within is not an easy job and it becomes more complicated when the gonna be mommy is suffering from chronic disorders such as diabetes. 

Diabetic pregnancy has now emerged as one of the major complications surrounding the mother and the unborn.

You may not have diabetes but still, you can develop diabetes during pregnancy and technically the condition is known as gestational diabetes. It was a bit difficult to deal with both in the yesteryears, but today with the advancement of medical science and modern monitoring tools and know-how, being diabetic pregnant does not mean you have to struggle all throughout, complications can be avoided right to some extent.

Since the symptoms of diabetes match the symptoms of pregnancy such as frequent urination, increased hunger, increased thirst, etc. pregnant women with or without diabetes need to know the complications and how to deal with it.

What are the risks involved in being pregnant and diabetic?

Risk for baby

In the first trimester the blood glucose levels could go high, so there are chances of premature birth, birth defects, and even miscarriage. If the excess of sugar enters baby’s blood circulation, the pancreas of baby would escalate insulin secretion. This excess of sugar and insulin, in turn, will make the baby bigger, the condition medically known as macrosomic.

Macrosomic babies often can’t be delivered normally (vaginal delivery) and trying so could damage nerves and bones. Other complications include low blood glucose at birth and baby born with breathing problem or yellowing of the skin.

Risks as a mother

As a pregnant mother with diabetes, there could be complications such as excess of amniotic fluid, urinary tract infections, vision problems, kidney conditions, etc. Other potential risks involved being pregnant and diabetic is the possibility of developing preeclampsia, a condition that causes high blood pressure and swelling.

How to handle diabetes in pregnancy

  • First of all, if you have made up your mind on conceiving then it is recommended to control your blood sugar levels 3-6 months before trying to conceive in order to avoid complications further.
  • Talk to your doctor, he would recommend you proper diet, exercise and required medications for the purpose.
  • You might be referred to a specialized physician skilled in taking care of pregnant women with diabetes. You may also want to consult a dietician for meal planning.
  • It might happen that despite of the diet chart, your blood glucose level may increase. So don’t get panicked. Your doctor would suggest you related medication or insulin shots if required.

Pregnancy itself demands a lot of efforts and when it is combined with diabetes, it's imaginable how much struggle one has to make. So prevention is better than cure. 

If you are one of those unfortunate lots of women, keep an eye on blood glucose level and do not forget balanced diet, healthy exercise and stress-free lifestyle ensuring a better life for you and your baby.