Stephannie & Christopher
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Several years ago a diabetic woman was discouraged from carrying a baby to term for various reasons, but luckily that is no longer the case. For most women, a healthy pregnancy is not only in reach but is the norm. The key is good sugar control and excellent prenatal care.
Ideally, planning should start before you get your positive pregnancy test. Good blood glucose levels control prior to conception is vital to a healthy pregnancy. Many women don't usually find out they are expecting till about 6 weeks into the pregnancy, which is the critical time for organ formation. So if you have stable glucose levels a few months before trying to conceive you should have your bases covered. Discuss your options with your doctor, as they may want to monitor your sugars and medications carefully to prevent any possible problems with the pregnancy.
Once you are pregnant, excellent prenatal care is required. You will likely have more appointments and ultrasounds than a low-risk pregnancy, which will give your doctor a chance to monitor your sugars and the growth of your baby. Look for an OB and a neonatologist that specialize in diabetic patients and babies. A registered dietician will help you choose the right foods for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy, as well as help stem off rising sugar levels. As your pregnancy progresses, so will your diabetes so it is important to check your blood sugar daily. Since most oral medications are off limits, your doctor may discuss the use of insulin to help regulate your blood glucose levels even further.
Delivery may also be a bit different for the diabetic patient. C-sections are common, especially if your baby is expected to be on the large end of the spectrum. Your doctors will likely monitor your blood sugar throughout the delivery to make sure the levels are acceptable. Once your baby is born, he/she will be checked for the next 48 for possible low blood sugar issues. If this is the case, your baby will be given a glucose solution until their levels are stable again.