Diabetes in Pregnancy
Patients with diabetes who are thinking about getting pregnant should be aware of specific health problems and extra precautions they should take to ensure a safe pregnancy. The distinction between gestational diabetes and pregestational diabetes is important. The increased risk of miscarriage and birth abnormalities are the first concerns for individuals with pregestational diabetes during pregnancy. Before becoming pregnant, it is critical for patients to ensure that their blood sugar is under control. Because most people with type 1 diabetes have had it from infancy, they are familiar with and understand how to control their diabetes by checking their blood sugar and using insulin or medicine. Patients who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes lately may require extra education on daily glucose monitoring and insulin instruction at first (if required).
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Patients with pre-gestational diabetes should tell their endocrinologist and/or OB/GYN about their desire to become pregnant soon and work closely with their doctors to optimize their treatment regimen by checking their blood sugar daily and taking medication, such as insulin, before becoming pregnant. Increasing the dosage of medications, such as insulin, is common during pregnancy. High-dose folic acid supplements (5 mg/day) should be prescribed for women with diabetes who are planning a pregnancy from at least 3 months before conception until 12 weeks of gestation. The risk of diabetes during pregnancy varies depending on race and ethnicity. Pregnancy diabetes is more common in Asian and Hispanic women, while type 1 and type 2 diabetes is more common in black and Hispanic women.
What Should I Do if I Have Diabetes?
Before becoming pregnant, women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes should see their doctor. Preconception care (preventive health care before and between pregnancies) allows you to talk about changes in your blood sugar levels, modify your monitoring and medications, and check for and treat linked health issues including high blood pressure.
Diabetes management can help you have a healthy pregnancy and baby. Visit your doctor as instructed, check your blood sugar levels, follow a healthy eating plan set with your doctor or dietitian, remain physically active, and take insulin as required to control your diabetes (if needed).
Type 2 diabetes is more likely to occur in women who have had gestational diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes, you should see your doctor 4 to 12 weeks after your baby is delivered to be checked for diabetes. If you don’t have diabetes at the time, get your blood sugar levels checked every 1 to 3 years to ensure they’re in a safe range.
Diabetes can cause complications for mothers and their unborn children during pregnancy. Poor diabetes control during pregnancy raises the risk of birth abnormalities and other pregnancy complications. It might also put the woman’s health at jeopardy. Prenatal and postnatal health care can help avoid birth abnormalities and other health issues.