How To Get Pregnant When You Have Diabetes
If you’re a woman with diabetes mellitus, getting pregnant requires more planning and taking extra precautions than a woman without this medical condition. Any pregnancy comes with risks. However, when a disease like diabetes is involved, complications are magnified. This is why it’s essential to be in your best overall health before you conceive. Digging a little deeper, there are steps you can take to get on the right path for a healthy and safe pregnancy with diabetes.
Meet with your healthcare provider prior to getting pregnant
If you have diabetes, it’s best to plan a pregnancy before trying to conceive. A diabetic pregnancy can lead to several short and long-term side effects for mom as well as baby. It’s crucial to meet with your health care professional to prepare in advance. In a case with diabetes and getting pregnant, your doctor will:
- Give you an HbA1C blood test to visualize how your average blood sugar levels have been over the past two months.
- Examine your blood and urine to see if there are any diabetes-related kidney problems.
- See if there are any other diabetes-related complications, such as nerve damage.
- Record your blood pressure.
- Measure your cholesterol and levels of blood fat.
- Check for thyroid disease, especially for type 1 diabetes patients.
- Review your current medications.
- Recommend preconception counseling.
After all of the above tests are completed, you and your doctor can identify if there are any preexisting health concerns to adjust. For example, if your blood sugar is too high when conceiving, complications will automatically arise during pregnancy. Your blood sugar should constantly be in your healthy range for at least three to six months before getting pregnant. Otherwise, you’ll have an increased risk of birth defects, stillbirth, or preterm birth. It’s critical to keep your health care provider aligned with your goals to ensure you are healthy before getting pregnant to avoid as many conflicts as possible.
Identify your ideal weight for pregnancy
Before getting pregnant with diabetes, you must live a healthy lifestyle to keep you and your soon-to-be baby in the best health. Everyone is different, but you and your doctor should identify your ideal weight for pregnancy. You might need to lose weight or even gain prior to conceiving. Being underweight is a concern for a diabetic pregnancy because this could cause you to deliver a low-birth rate child. On the other hand, if you’re overweight, there are also several consequences you could face with your diabetes when getting pregnant. When your body mass index is above 27, your doctor will likely advise you to lose weight before getting pregnant. If you don’t take this step forward, your risks escalate. More specifically, getting pregnant is harder when you’re overweight with diabetes. Being under or overweight will present a variety of complications and risks to your pregnancy when paired with any type of diabetes, so it’s vital to identify and adjust your weight primitively.
Determine the proper medications to help manage your diabetes during pregnancy
To help ensure you’re going to endure a healthy pregnancy with diabetes, there might be some adjustments that your doctor will want to make to your current medications and supplements. Prenatal vitamins are an essential part of any pregnancy. Yet, when you have diabetes, it’s common to take an increased dosage of folic acid, or vitamin B, while trying to get pregnant and up to 12 weeks during pregnancy. Taking folic acid will play a significant role in preventing your child from developing a congenital disability in the brain or spinal cord. There may be alterations made to diabetes-related medications, too. If you are on medication for blood sugar control, your doctor might switch you to insulin injections, as some medications can harm the baby. Other prescriptions that you may have to take due to diabetes-related illnesses, such as high blood pressure medication, can also have an adverse effect on the baby, such as an increased risk of birth defects. Either way, it’s important to discuss all of your current mediations with your doctor before trying to get pregnant. This will help prevent complications and ensure that you are taking the correct medications for a healthy pregnancy while managing your diabetes.
Getting pregnant while having diabetes doesn’t have to feel so far away. Meet with your related healthcare professionals to ensure you have a safe pregnancy and for you and baby in the long-run.