Type 2 diabetes patients know all too well how important routine is when it comes to managing their condition. Most diabetic women manage blood sugar levels with medication, careful dietary plans, and regular exercise. However, pregnancy can have a huge impact on your body’s ability to process sugar.
You may also be concerned about the impact diabetes may have on your growing baby. We’re here to help you learn how to have a safe and happy pregnancy while continuing to manage your type 2 diabetes.
How Does Diabetes Affect Pregnancy?
Pregnancy puts extra demands on your body, so it shouldn’t surprise you that your diabetes management routine will need to change. Pregnancy hormones will directly affect the way your body handles insulin and sugar.
If you have long-term health conditions as a result of your diabetes, such as eye problems or kidney disease, these problems can be exacerbated by the bodily stress of pregnancy.
To find out about the risks of becoming pregnant as a diabetic patient, be sure to speak with your doctor.
Understanding the Effect of Diabetes on Pregnancy
If you have type 2 diabetes, pregnancy can be a stressful and worrisome time. That’s because diabetes type 2 and pregnancy complications occasionally go hand in hand. Along with the risks to your own body, your diabetes will also create certain risks for your child.
If you’re concerned about diabetes during pregnancy risks, here are few of the complications for the baby that can arise due to diabetes during pregnancy:
- Stillbirth. The chances of stillbirth are higher for women who have diabetes. Poor circulation can cause the baby to grow at a slower rate.
- Birth defects. Birth defects usually occur within the first trimester. Mothers with poorly managed diabetes may give birth to babies with defects in the heart, brain, spine, or digestive system.
- Macrosomia. This condition is when the baby is larger than normal. It occurs when diabetic mothers have so much sugar that the baby’s pancreas creates extra insulin, resulting in extra fat.
- Hypoglycemia. If the pregnant mother’s blood glucose levels are consistently high, the baby may produce too much insulin. After being born, blood glucose levels will drop, resulting in hypoglycemia.
- Respiratory distress. If there is too much insulin or glucose in the baby’s system, the lungs may not grow properly, resulting in breathing problems for the baby.
- Preeclampsia. This condition involves high blood pressure and an excess of protein in the urine. The condition can cause life-threatening problems for you and your baby, and can only be cured by giving birth.
What About Gestational Diabetes?
Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman develops diabetes during pregnancy. This can often occur in women who are overweight. Because pregnancy changes the way our bodies deal with insulin, gestational diabetes can easily occur.
Most women are screened for gestational diabetes during their pregnancy.
How to Approach Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy
Women who suffer from diabetes during pregnancy will need to be extra careful with how they manage their blood sugar levels. You and your doctor should come up with a unique plan to suit your body. It will likely involve a carefully planned diet with a low carb count, gentle exercise, frequent blood glucose monitoring, insulin injections, and oral medication.
If you are a pregnant diabetic patient, be sure to look out for the signs of high blood sugar in pregnancy. Symptoms include unusual thirst, fatigue, blurred vision, and frequent urination. If you think your blood sugar levels are fluctuating or are too high, do not hesitate to speak to your doctor.
Managing Diabetes and Pregnancy: Connect With the CuraLin Community
Dealing with both pregnancy and diabetes can be incredibly stressful and scary. You may feel overwhelmed and isolated by your condition. Here at CuraLife, we pride ourselves on bringing diabetic patients together in a safe space. Our active and vibrant community is a wonderful place to voice concerns and meet other people dealing with the many complications of diabetes.
If you have questions on living well with diabetes while pregnant, check out our free global community of type 2 diabetics today to gain access to useful resources, community support, and more!