Pregnancy with Diabetes
Preparing to have a baby is nerve-wracking in itself. Throw diabetes into the mix, and it’s enough stress to give any mommy-to-be some serious pause. But you can put your mind at ease. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is not atypical for women with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes to have a happy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. Here are five actions you should consider if you’re planning to starting a family.
#1 Monitor your blood sugar and A1C before pregnancy
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), your sugar levels should fall within a target range (A1c less than 7%), if you’re planning on getting pregnant. During pregnancy sugar targets change (ADA recommends):
- A1c: < 6% (as long as you don’t have lows)
- Pre-meal: <95 mg/dl
- One hour after a meal: <140 mg/dl
- Two hours after a meal: <120mg/dl
#2 Schedule a pre-pregnancy exam
There’s so many factors that can affect a pregnancy. An exam with your doctor will check for these. A pre-pregnancy exam includes a look at your sugar levels, A1C, blood pressure, kidneys, nerves, and eyes. For those with type 1 diabetes, a thyroid exam is also common. Having an exam will give you information about the risks to you and your baby and help set you up for a successful pregnancy.
#3 Switch up your medications
At the exam, your doctor will want information on the medications you’re currently taking. Some of them may not be safe to continue during pregnancy, including some blood pressure and cholesterol medicines. Your doctor may decide to make the switch to insulin, which is known to be safe to use in pregnancy.
#4 Evaluate your lifestyle
While it’s normal for women with diabetes to give birth to healthy babies, there are still many factors that can influence the health of your child. First, WebMD recommends to stop smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy–both of these substances have been known to cause birth defects. In addition, maintaining a healthy diet and keeping stress levels as low as possible can help contribute to a safe and successful delivery. Click here for a great blog post on making classic side dishes healthy!
#5 Talk to a counselor
Your body may be getting the care it needs, but you cannot neglect your mind. Having a baby is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, and it’s normal to feel stressed, nervous, or even all-out scared. A counselor can help you sort through your feelings and work on putting your mind at ease.
Having good control of your diabetes is vital when starting a family to avoid pregnancy complications. Taking action on these 5 things will help establish good habits before pregnancy that will translate to pregnancy in order to keep yourself and the baby as healthy as possible.
Disclaimer Statement: This is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. For individual medical advice, contact your healthcare practitioner.