Diagnose The Link Between Sugar Diabetes And Pregnancy

Thanks to advances in medicine, sugar diabetes and pregnancy is no longer something to fear. With proper management of your diabetes, you can have a normal pregnancy and a healthy delivery. The secret is to maintain your blood sugar levels within an acceptable range both before and during your pregnancy.

An estimated nine percent of American women have diabetes and one-third of those do not even know they have it. All women, especially those of childbearing years, should have regular checkups. Early diagnosis of diabetes is essential for a successful program of treatment and management.

Before Getting Pregnant

Sugar diabetes and pregnancy means careful planning. If you are planning a family, ask your doctor for advice about getting your diabetes under control three to six months before you try to get pregnant. Your doctor may recommend a daily multivitamin with 400 micrograms of folic acid to help reduce the possibility of birth defects. Your blood glucose level should be between 60 and 119 milligrams per deciliter before meals and between 100 and 149 one hour after eating, and your A1C level should be less than seven percent.

Your pre-pregnancy exam will include a measurement of your A1C level as well as an evaluation of possible areas for complications such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and kidney, eye and nerve damage. Women with type 1 diabetes should also be checked for thyroid function.

Your medications should be carefully reviewed if you plan to get pregnant. Sugar diabetes and pregnancy may mean that some of the drugs used to treat your diabetes may not be safe to use while carrying a baby. Of particular concern are statins, ARBs, ACE inhibitors, and many non-insulin therapies.

 During Pregnancy

The first trimester is the most important stage in the healthy development of your child. If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes before becoming pregnant, it is important for you to keep your blood glucose levels and A1C as close to normal as possible during the first three months. Keeping your blood glucose levels at a normal level from the time of conception will lower the risk of birth defects to that of a non-diabetic woman.

Start assembling your “dream team” or group of health care professionals who are best qualified to deal with your sugar diabetes and pregnancy and to get you through your pregnancy and delivery without a hitch:

Pregnant Diabetic Women

  • A doctor who has experience in treating pregnant diabetic women
  • A high-risk pregnancy obstetrician similarly experienced in treating pregnant diabetic women
  • Either a pediatrician or neonatologist qualified to address the special needs and issues of babies born to diabetic women
  • A dietician who can oversee necessary dietary changes during the course of your pregnancy
  • An experienced diabetes counselor who can advise you during your pregnancy

Your second and third trimester glucose target levels will likely change, as your goals shift from minimizing the possibility of birth defects to keeping your baby from growing too large. Be prepared to check your blood glucose levels up to 8 times a day, especially after meals.

Delivering a Healthy Baby

Your dream team will determine the safest time and method of delivery based on your blood glucose control, blood pressure, kidney function, and the nature and severity of any diabetes-related complications you may be experiencing. They will also consider your baby’s size and heart rate and the volume of amniotic fluid present in the uterus.

During labor and delivery, your blood glucose level will be carefully monitored. Once labor begins, your sugar diabetes and pregnancy priorities will shift, and your insulin requirements will drop. You will probably not need insulin during labor and for up to 3 days following delivery. While your focus will naturally shift to caring for your new arrival, be sure to maintain healthy blood glucose levels, especially if you are breast-feeding.



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