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As joyous starting a family and conceiving a baby is, it also requires considerate pre-planning and appropriate care in order to ensure the optimal health of the offspring as well as the mother. If you have diabetes and are planning to conceive, there are certain boxes in the healthy pregnancy checklist that you should make sure are checked out. There are efficient pregnancy doctors and child delivery doctors in Delhi who can help you make the process seamless and give birth to a healthy baby. But foremost, it is crucial for to-be mothers to know about diabetes and how it can affect the pregnancy period, their health, and that of the baby.
This blog will take you through all the crucial parameters of managing diabetes during pregnancy, including its identification, precautions, and post-childbirth regularities.
The three most common types of diabetes include:
Type 1 Diabetes
It involves the destruction of insulin-producing cells (beta cells) in the pancreas by the immune system. As a result, very little or no insulin is available to make use of blood sugar for energy purposes. It has been found to be more likely to affect women who are white, below the age of 20 and have a family history of type 1 diabetes. The symptoms which can indicate the presence of Type 1 diabetes include:
- Feeling thirsty more often
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Blurry vision
- Unexplained weight loss
- Extreme Mood swings
Type 2 Diabetes
People with Type 2 diabetes develop a life-long resistance to insulin, which makes their bodies unable to make use of the insulin as it normally should. This is known as the most common type of diabetes and is more likely to affect people in the middle and old age groups. It can be managed through diabetes pills, insulin, proper diet, or exercise. The symptoms which can indicate the presence of Type 2 diabetes include:
- The frequent onset of infections
- Sudden weight loss
- Increased hunger
- Sores that heal slowly
- Dark skin patches, especially around the neck and armpits
- Fatigue and tiredness
It is the type of diabetes that is diagnosed for the first time when a woman is pregnant and wasn’t present before. Like the other types of diabetes, it increases the blood sugar level and presents complications regarding the child’s and the mother’s health. Gestational diabetes can be easily managed through proper exercise, diet and medications.
Many women with gestational diabetes do not suffer any significant signs and symptoms but some of the warning signs that expectant mothers can look out for include:
- Increased thirst
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Dry mouth
Most of the time, gestational diabetes can only be pointed out through proper tests. That is why going for regular appointments and checkups is important for pregnant women.
How does diabetes harm the health of the mother and the baby?
The optimal blood sugar level is 4.0-5.5 mmol/L before meals, and less than 7.0 mmol/L 2 hours after meals. If the blood sugar level of an expectant mother doesn’t fall in line with these, several health complications and difficulties can be faced by both the baby and the mother.
According to pregnancy doctors in India, babies who come from mothers with pre-existing or gestational diabetes are at a much higher risk of being born with birth defects- heart, brain, or spine defects- than others. Diabetes can cause premature birth as well as improper weight at the time of birth. When the mother has a high blood sugar level during pregnancy, the sugar is absorbed by the baby and is converted into fat, leading to a larger size and higher birth weight.
It can also cause the baby to be still-born or have extremely low calcium, glucose and magnesium levels right after birth. Moreover, breathing problems are also a possibility for children born from diabetic mothers.
Apart from the wide range of health problems affecting the offspring, mothers can also face difficulties during pregnancy. Women may develop eye diseases and problems, as well as kidney diseases.
Pre-eclampsia is another health condition that can be triggered in the mother’s body due to high blood sugar levels. It is also known as toxemia and can cause serious problems for both the baby and the mother.
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How do I ensure a healthy pregnancy and childbirth if I have diabetes?
More than half of the diabetic women have a healthy and seamless pregnancy journey as well as childbirth. They can even have a healthy In Vitro Fertilization, with proper care and guidance of IVF specialists. The IVF Specialists in Delhi are well versed with the latest technologies and procedures, which can help the couple conceive and experience the joy of starting a family.
But in order to achieve that, the pregnancy has to be properly planned and chalked out beforehand. According to top gynecologists in Delhi, the blood sugar level should ideally be brought under control before getting pregnant as once the baby is conceived, controlling very high sugar levels turns very difficult and complicated. But the good news is that even if you have high blood sugar levels after you’re pregnant, things can still be worked out to ensure a healthy child-bearing period and birth!
There are a number of steps that you can take to minimize the risk of developing health complications in the baby as well as yourself:
- Start off your journey with preconception counseling, where you can get familiarized with the regularities, do’s, and don’ts of the pregnancy period. In the case of a pre-planned pregnancy, this step can ensure your mental and emotional readiness before embarking on a novel journey. Of course, not all pregnancies can be planned, and thus, this step isn’t necessary but recommended for women going to be first-time mothers. In this counseling, your blood sugar level can also be measured in order to evaluate whether it is in control enough to conceive or not.
- Limit or give up harmful habits like smoking and drinking as it can increase the risk of premature birth or even a stillborn baby. It is also known to trigger diabetes-related problems, increasing the risk of eye and kidney disease for the mother.
- Stay physically active and fit. Top gynecologists in Delhi suggest that apart from helping the mother with diabetes, it also ensures healthy muscles, joints, as well as bones and relieves stress.
- Consult with your doctor regularly. Don’t miss out on appointments, as regular checkups can help identify problems early, i.e., at a stage where they can be solved with more ease.
- Chalk out a proper diet plan and stick to it. Take advice from your doctor or nutritionist to know what is best for you and the baby.
- In case you are required to take pills or insulin for managing diabetes, make sure to check-up the dosage, type of medicine twice before consuming as some of them might not be appropriate for pregnancies.
How do delivery and childbirth look for diabetic mothers?
It is quite normal for diabetic mothers to complete a full term before going for delivery. But you may also be required to give birth to the child prematurely. A C-section delivery might also be required instead of a normal one. Any normal delivery doctor in India or gynecology and delivery hospitals in Delhi are likely to keep the newborn under observation for a few hours after birth, in order to look for and manage any abnormalities, such as low glucose levels, breathing problems, etc.
There are no considerable problems associated with breastfeeding for diabetic women.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).
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