3 Ways for Type 1 Diabetics to Stay Safe in Pregnancy

Pregnancy requires a close eye on your body and symptoms.

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Pregnancy is a beautiful, terrifying, exciting time. A woman’s body undergoes massive change during pregnancy, not limited to the commonly talked about weight gain and hormone fluctuations. While hormones might seem a small matter in the grand scheme of things, your body functions wholly on hormones—including our body’s ability to regulate blood sugar.

Type 1 and Pregnancy

Pregnancy presents much higher risks to women with diabetes than those without. Although there are numerous risks involved with the child, women with diabetes have an increased risk for complications, themselves, including kidney damage and eclampsia. Most women are induced before the standard 40-42 weeks’ gestation to keep these risks lower, and blood glucose levels are kept under close watch.

Women with Type 1 are advised to have their glucose under control for between 3 and 6 months before trying to conceive to provide the best possible outcome for both mother and child. Failing to get blood sugar under control before conception could result in birth defects, miscarriage, and severe complications.

Staying Safe with Type 1

Fortunately, having Type 1 does not mean an automatically horrific pregnancy, nor does it guarantee that a child will experience difficulty. Instead, it means that your condition must be carefully evaluated, monitored, and controlled to keep yourself and your baby healthy.

#1. Stay on Top of Your Diet

Pregnancy is often discussed fondly with the admonition that a pregnant woman should be allowed to eat whatever she feels like. While this might make someone in the throes of a difficult pregnancy feel better at the moment, your diet is what keeps your child’s body thriving and strong. Keeping your diet healthy and controlled is extremely important.

#2. Dedicate Time to Exercise

Weight gain is a significant concern for diabetic women, as is having a child who is too large to safely and readily birth. Take time to exercise. You don’t have to exert a ton of energy to have an impact on your body. Even taking a 30-minute walk every day will prove useful in keeping your health at its optimal level.

 

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#3. Create a New Plan With Your Healthcare Team

Pregnancy introduces numerous new factors into your diabetic management practice. When you conceive, you must create a new treatment plan with your healthcare team, factoring in changes in insulin needs, activity levels, and caloric requirements. If any parts of your plan are no longer working, make sure you let your team know as soon as possible to avoid harm to you or your baby.

#4. Keep a Journal of Your Experiences

Finally, keep a journal, detailing all of your observations regarding your treatment and wellness levels. If you notice a trend in your blood glucose relative to a time of day, for instance, you can create a treatment plan taking that into account. Keeping a detailed record can also alert your doctors to any changes that need to be made to your treatment regimen.

References

ADA. Accessed 9/28/17.

Everyday Health. Accessed 9/28/17.

Huffington Post. Accessed 9/28/17.

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