Diabetes and Pregnancy

Is diabetes pregnancy high risk?

Women with diabetes have an exceptional concern about their health. Pregnancy comes with new demands for the body such as food cravings, tiredness, and other hormonal changes. Such demands tend to affect diabetes medication and blood sugar levels.

During early pregnancy, before thirteen weeks, heightened blood sugar levels increase the risk of having a miscarriage as well as other complications related to diabetes. That’s why before conceiving, women are advised to have good control of their blood sugar. The real challenge is that a lot of women do not know they are pregnant until after the baby has grown for more than 2 weeks.

Babies born of diabetic mothers may suffer from a condition called Macrosomia. This means the babies are much bigger than those of women without diabetes. This condition is caused by too much sugar from the mother through the placenta, hence the pancreas senses it making extra insulin for its usage. The additional sugar is then converted to fat resulting in a large baby. Such babies may be too large for vaginal delivery making the woman go through a C-section or cesarean delivery. Your doctor has to keep an eye on your baby to decide the safest way for delivery.

Pregnant women with diabetes are advised to check on their diet and increase their calorie intake for the growing baby. Those using insulin may be advised to adjust their dosage especially in the last three months of pregnancy because the body will need more during this period. Those using pills may have to switch to insulin.

Women with good diabetes control usually go through the nine months without any difficulties. Nonetheless, doctors prefer for early childbirth of around the 38th – 39th week.

Labor can be a worrying period for the baby and its mother. If the mother has been on insulin medication throughout the pregnancy, then its’ need will stay through labor. Immediately after labor, the need for insulin will quickly go down.

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