Diabetes Tips for Pregnancy
High blood sugar in pregnancy can cause birth defects. But the babies of women with well-controlled blood sugar have the same rate of birth defects as women who don't have diabetes. If you're considering having a child, it's a great idea to tell your healthcare providers in advance. Together, you can make a plan for your care. The more you know about what to expect, the better off you'll be. During your pre-pregnancy planning, you can expect to:
Get tested for possible diabetes complications before you're pregnant
Kidney trouble, eye problems (retinopathy) and difficulty with food absorption are common complications. They may get worse during pregnancy. Getting checked for these conditions can keep them from causing any problems once you do become pregnant.
Find out how often you'll need to test your blood sugar
Since controlling your blood sugar during pregnancy is so important, your healthcare providers will probably recommend that you test yourself about six times per day when you're pregnant.
Find out whether you'll need to take insulin
In general, if you've been controlling diabetes through diet alone, you may be able to continue in this way. But if you've been taking pills to control your blood sugar, you'll probably have to switch to injecting insulin during your pregnancy. Your healthcare team will help you every step of the way with this change.
Make plans for possibly intense self-care
Taking excellent care of yourself when you're pregnant can be time-consuming. And since pregnancy sometimes causes complications, there may be times when you aren't feeling well. Knowing in advance that you may need to ask for help at work and at home can help with your planning.
Learn what kinds of exercise and meal plans you'll be likely to follow
This will help keep you blood sugar under control.
If you're already pregnant, see your doctor right away
NOW is the perfect time to get your blood sugar as tightly controlled as possible.
The Family and Friends Guide to Diabetes. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, New York, 10158-0012, 2000; American Diabetes Association