control diabetes during pregnancy
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Tips to Control Diabetes During Pregnancy

There are tips to control diabetes during pregnancy to have a safe outcome and a healthy baby. Because of the potential for complications to arise, however, your doctor will consider your pregnancy high risk. A high risk pregnancy can sound scary, but by educating yourself on the proper steps to take as a pregnant diabetic woman, you can minimize the risks to yourself and to your baby.

Although you may be quite used to managing your diabetes, your pregnancy will cause many changes in your body. You will need to modify how you handle your diabetes accordingly. One of the most important things you can do is to carefully monitor your blood sugar levels. Check your sugar levels as required; it may be eight times a day or more. It's not unusual to see your insulin requirements triple or even quadruple as pregnancy advances.

You need A1C levels to be as normal as possible. The A1C test reflects your blood sugar levels over a period of the last several weeks and is a good indicator of blood sugar sontrol.

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High blood sugar levels while pregnant can cause numerous complications during pregnancy. Your child, for example, will have a greater risk of being born premature, which in and of itself carries with it a whole host of complications, or being born stillborn in cases of uncontrolled diabetes.

You yourself are at greater risk for kidney disease and heart disease. These risks can be dramatically lessened if you make sure that your sugar levels do not get too high. Make sure that your significant other and those who spend time with you also know how to test your sugar levels in the event that you are unable to do so. Share with them some of the symptoms of high and low sugar levels.

Make sure you see your doctor regularly. This is important for any pregnant woman, but especially for women with diabetes. Your doctor will want to run extra tests as a result of your diabetes, and you will want to keep your health care team informed about what's going on with you. Your team usually consists of your obstetrician, your endocrinologist, and your partner.

As long as you regularly see your health care team and follow their suggestions for a healthy pregnancy, you will find yourself at a much lower risk for diabetes-related complications during your pregnancy.

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Before Pregnancy

If you are not yet pregnant but are considering getting pregnant, it makes all the difference to get your diabetes under control before you attempt to get pregnant. Ideally, your diabetes will be under control for at least three months prior to pregnancy for the best health outcomes for you and your child.

Make an appointment with your doctor just to get a general check up. Now is the time to address any health problems you may have. Your doctor can tell you which medications you can stay on during pregnancy and which ones are best to quit. If you do not already have a obstetrician-gynecologist, try to find one who has experience working with women who have diabetes.

As a diabetic woman, your pregnancy will require a little extra caution than other pregnancies, and you will need to do several additional things because of your condition. By following these tips to control diabetes during pregnancy and making the healthiest decisions regarding your diabetes, you are helping to give yourself the best outcome possible and your baby the best chance of a healthy and safe in-utero experience.

Resources

American Diabetes Association

(in Spanish)

National Institute of Health

March of Dimes

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