Planning for Pregnancy: What Women with Diabetes Need to Know

Many women do fine without a preconception appointment, but for some, it’s essential. Talk to an Ob/Gyn if you’re planning to become pregnant, and you think it might be a high-risk pregnancy. Chronic conditions like diabetes are a common reason for high-risk pregnancies. These issues need to be carefully managed before and during pregnancy to ensure the health of mom and baby.

Diabetes Medications

Bring a list of all of your medications and their dosages to your preconception appointment. The doctor will also need to know about your over-the-counter medicines and supplements. Any pill has the potential to cause harm to a developing baby, and so your doctor will need to carefully weigh the benefits and the risks of your medications. You may need to switch to a different diabetes drug. If you take medications for other conditions, such as high blood pressure, these might require adjustments too.

Diabetes Complications

There is a laundry list of health complications that can be caused or worsened by diabetes. They include:

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease

  • Kidney disease

  • Eye problems

  • Nerve damage

You’ll have a complete physical exam and perhaps some medical tests to assess your health. If you do have any complications of diabetes, you’ll need to get them under control before becoming pregnant.

Blood Glucose

Blood sugar control is always important for diabetics, but it’s particularly essential for expecting moms. Your doctor can help you get your blood glucose levels within your target range prior to your pregnancy. Know that your target range may shift when you become pregnant. You’ll need to carefully manage your blood glucose throughout your pregnancy too.

Lifestyle

It can be tricky to balance the baby’s nutritional needs with your own. Consider talking to a registered dietician if you’re having trouble following an ideal meal plan. During your pregnancy, you can talk to your Ob/Gyn if you struggle with morning sickness. Follow the doctor’s exercise recommendations, and remember to check your blood glucose before working out.

High-risk obstetrics is one of our specialties here at Women’s Healthcare Associates. We’re known for our compassionate pregnancy care for women near Houston, and we invite you to join our healthcare family. New and current patients can call (713) 654-8128 to request a well-woman exam or preconception consult.

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