Have Diabetes? 5 Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy
The nine months of pregnancy can present many challenges, both emotionally and physically and even more so if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. If you are thinking of starting a family, check out our top 5 tips designed to help you handle the demands of diabetes management and have a happy and most importantly healthy pregnancy.
Ensure your blood sugar is under control: When considering starting a family, the preconception standards of quitting cigarettes, losing weight (if obese) and taking vital prenatal vitamins all remain crucial, however if you are diabetic you need to add one more item to the list – get your blood sugar under control.
When the blood sugar levels are too high or too low, it may prove more difficult to conceive, as your body recognises that it’s not in optimal condition for hosting a pregnancy. Did you know that women with type 2 diabetes are particularly at risk for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which can also make it more difficult to conceive?
Discontinue oral medications: The majority of health care providers will suggest that pregnant women with type 2 diabetes discontinue oral medications. The reasoning behind this is that there is not enough research or evidence to suggest that diabetic medication such as metformin has been proven safe to take during pregnancy.Oral medications are of course a convenient and trusted diabetic treatment plan, however insulin may be a safer choice to ensure your blood sugar levels are kept in check prior to and throughout the pregnancy. If you are type 1 diabetic you will already be taking insulin so we recommend consulting with your doctor as to whether your current insulin regimen will meet your needs as the pregnancy progresses.
Get to grips with your morning sickness: If you take insulin you will be aware that you need food in your system for the insulin to act upon. This can present a challenge if you are unable to keep any food or liquids down. If you experience severe morning sickness always consult with your doctor, however simple tricks such as a dry cracker by the bed to be taken as soon as you wake, may keep the nausea at bay.
Up and close with your blood glucose monitor: The challenge of maintaining and regulating your blood sugar levels will continue throughout the entire pregnancy, which means you will develop a close relationship with your blood glucose monitor. Many diabetic women will test up to 15 times a day or at least once every hour, so that you are not waiting to feel your blood sugar spike or dip, but you will be aware of where it is at all the time.
Make sure you have a quick-to-hand carb stash: If you are insulin dependent, you will be only to aware of the effects of hypoclycemia, which occurs when the blood sugar in your body is dangerously low. This can eventuate by taking too much insulin or simply not eating enough to match the insulin level in your body. Why not keep glucose tablets or products designed to reverse hypoglycemia at the ready, even a couple of 100% juice boxes will stave off the drop, and quench your thirst at the same time.
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