Why Pregnancy And Diabetes Is A Dangerous Combination?

Diabetes can be a threat to a healthy pregnancy and a normal birth. Mothers who are already diabetic or develop gestational diabetes create a potential health risk for their baby. It makes you more prone to unwanted pregnancy and birth complications.

Be it type 1 or type 2 diabetes, mothers having high blood sugar levels need to pay more attention to their health, including their food habits and lifestyle. Women with diabetic must inform their doctors before planning to get pregnant. If they maintain a stable blood sugar level before and during pregnancy, the risk of complications drops down to being similar to a non-diabetic woman who becomes pregnant.


Controlling Blood Sugar Levels Before Pregnancy

Dr. Mapendo Ndekwe, an obstetrician and a gynecologist says that it is crucial that the mother brings down her blood sugar levels under control even before she gets pregnant.

By seven weeks after your last period, your baby’s organs are completely formed at the primary level. Before you become aware that you are pregnant, a high glucose level could cause possible damage to the developing organs of the fetus. Therefore, doctors advise women to control to control their diabetes 3-6 months before they try to conceive.


According to Dr. Ndekwe, the mother has to manage by keeping a check on her overall health—she would need to visit a physician and a dietician apart from her gynecologist to keep a check on her kidney functioning, her blood sugar levels, and the amniotic fluid levels. She needs to constantly be in touch with a doctor who specializes in diabetic treatment.

Amid all this, the doctors need to keep a regular check on the development of the baby over the months.


Risk Factors

Babies can get affected by mother’s high blood sugar levels and develop macrosomia, where the baby is larger than usual or have low blood sugar at birth. There are also risks of developing genetic disorders like heart defects, neural tube defects, clefts, kidney and gastrointestinal problems.

For mothers, the risks include kidney dysfunction or damage, eye complications including blindness and edema or swelling or the limbs. Diabetes also carried the risk of a premature delivery and a miscarriage.


Measure To Be Taken

To have a healthy pregnancy and prevent your unborn baby from the risks associated with diabetes, start taking measure well before you try to get pregnant.


Women with diabetes must make sure that they healthily gain their pregnancy weight and limit the intake of salt, sugar and other foods while not affecting the nutrient supply to the growing fetus. A dietician can best advise her on what to eat and which foods to skip during pregnancy.


Keep your weight in check—eating right and at proper times can be a big contributor to your health.

Active Lifestyle

Regular exercising and an active lifestyle can keep the blood sugar levels under control. Keeping the pregnancy in mind, moms to indulge in walking, stretching exercises, yoga and even swimming on regular basis.


Give your body enough rest—ask your family and friends to help you around with work so that you can concentrate more on maintaining a good health.

Regular Checkup

Moms must get a regular checkup for eye and kidney functionality since these organs are worst affected by the condition.


Options For Birth

If the risks are high and the blood pressure is not within limits, moms are recommended to go for a c-section. That doesn’t close the option for a natural birth for women suffering from diabetes. However, she has to plan it beforehand.

According to Dr. Ndekwe, in case of a vaginal birth, the labor is mostly induced while the glucose levels are closely monitored during the labor and birth.

It isn’t that mothers suffering from diabetes don’t have a normal pregnancy and birth a healthy baby. However, this isn’t a miracle because these women put their best efforts to keep their blood sugar levels under control throughout their pregnancy.