How to Get Ready For Pregnancy When You Have Diabetes

Pregnancy DiabetesDiabetics can have safe, healthy pregnancies, if the proper steps are taken. Abnormal blood glucose can have serious effects on the development of a fetus, as well as on the mother. It is important to make some preparations to avoid serious problems down the line.

Before you stop using birth control, you need to consult with your doctor. A physician can evaluate whether your diabetes is under control enough to be safe for you to get pregnant. If it is not, he can start you on the path to ensure that your body is as healthy as possible in preparation for a pregnancy.

Get studies done on your urine to ensure that there are no complications in the kidneys, related to diabetes. Also, get blood exams for your cholesterol and fatty acid levels. Get your eyes checked for diabetic retinopathy and other eye conditions, such as cataracts or glaucoma.

Pregnancy can be extremely taxing psychologically, so make sure to get counseling before you conceive. It is better to make sure that you are truly ready for pregnancy and that you are doing it for the right reasons. Also, make an appointment with your gynecologist to talk about what measures should be taken to prepare yourself for pregnancy.

Preconception counseling usually includes several aspects to make sure that you are healthy and prepared on an emotional level for whatever pregnancy involves. Usually it will start with an evaluation of your weight and body mass. This should be closely monitored for a diabetic because it can have important consequences on your pregnancy. If you are overweight, you should try to lose weight to avoid complications with your blood pressure. If you are below your ideal weight, you should try to gain some weight to ensure that your body can properly support the needs of your developing baby and that it will have a healthy weight when delivered.

Preconception counseling will also include some talk about your lifestyle and habits. If you smoke or drink alcohol (which you shouldn’t do if you’re a diabetic), you will need to quit for the good of your baby. Smoking affects your baby in all sorts of way. Everything in a cigarette, from the nicotine to the carbon monoxide, will be passed on to your developing baby. These can increase the risk of many complications including malformations, miscarriage, stillbirth, heart problems, respiratory problems, and low birth weight. Excessive alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome, which can include all sorts of malformations and mental retardation.

Preconception counseling will also include talk about prenatal vitamins, which you will probably start taking immediately. The doctor will also have to screen your blood glucose levels since these must be extremely well-regulated to decrease the risk of birth defects and diabetes complications.  There will be some adjustments to your medication and, if you take insulin, you will probably have to raise your dose. Some people who take oral medications may have to switch to insulin, since these can be harmful to a fetus or embryo.

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