Carrying a life inside the womb for nine months is probably the most wonderful experience any woman could ever have. In this stage called “pregnancy,” it is very important for an expectant mother to pay attention to good nutrition because this is very vital for her and her baby’s health. Pregnancy for regular women is complicated as it is, how much more for women who are suffering from a chronic illness such as diabetes?
During the course of the pregnancy, the mother and the baby need all the energy and nutrients they can get. Pregnancy is indeed not the time to lose weight or go on a diet because having a nutritionally sound diet can increase the chances for the baby to have a normal birth weight, proper brain development, and reduce the risk of certain birth defects. All these and more should be of topmost consideration for pregnant women who have diabetes.
What you need to know
Diabetes has three types, the “type 1 diabetes” which is the least common type but predominantly diagnosed among kids and teens, the “type diabetes” which is the most common to all ages and the “gestational diabetes” which are common for women once they get pregnant. It can be said that among these three types of diabetes, “gestational diabetes” is the easiest to deal with because it usually ends once the woman gives birth. However, this is not always the case because there are also those that continue to suffer from the disease that can lead to “type 2 diabetes” if not monitored and given proper medical attention immediately.
Although almost pregnant women are expected to suffer from gestational diabetes at one point during their pregnancy, there are also those who suffer from it even before they conceive. In this scenario, dealing with diabetes can be harder and much more complicated. But now, with the help of modern technology and advances in the field of medical research, pregnancy for women who are diabetics is fairly easier and lesser risk when it comes to the overall health of the baby and the mother as well.
First things first
For women who are diagnosed with diabetes, getting pregnant should be an utmost decision to make. This is because it will greatly determine not just the baby’s health but the woman’s overall health condition as well. For women who are planning to get pregnant despite suffering from diabetes, the major consideration to ponder on is the readiness of the woman’s body. This is very important to ensure that the woman can meet all the challenges and difficulties that goes with pregnancy.
To know if the woman’s body is ready for pregnancy despite diabetes, she should undergo a thorough physical examination administered by a licensed physician. This is very important because the physician can tell if the body is ready for the demands of pregnancy and labor and the possible complications that might occur along the way.
Experts say that pregnant women who have diabetes will most likely develop related complications such as diabetic retinopathy, hypertension, kidney disease, autonomic neuropathy or nerve damage to the internal organs, and cardiovascular diseases.
What you can do
With proper daily management, many women were able to have successful deliveries. The following are just some of the things that helped them along the way:
- frequent self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG);
- administering insulin injections and identifying how to adjust the doses depending on results of their SMBG;
- controlling and treatment of hypoglycemia;
- maintaining an appropriate level of regular exercise or physical activities; and an
- appropriate meal plan specially designed for women who have diabetes.