Diabetes, one of the most common conditions occurring in people of any group spares none. The announcement of some good news is often made with something sweet-it can be a mithai or even a chunk of sugar. Breaking a pregnancy news with a piece of cake, a small chunk of kaju kathli or even a chocolate has been in trend since decades. The very first thing that the leading lady of the family does once the pregnancy is announced is to make sweet kheer and offer it to the mom-to-be. Alas, how is a kheer going to please the pregnant woman when she is a diabetic since a long time? None would expect such a young female to suffer from increased blood glucose levels even before delivering a baby! But aren’t we living in a generation where diabetes and high BP are common whereas natural conception and normal delivery have become a rarity?
Never take a chance with your baby! If you suffer from diabetes it is mandatory that you get your blood glucose levels near your target levels even before becoming pregnant. This is a case of evident concern because a baby’s vital organs start developing during the first eight weeks of pregnancy and any imbalance in blood glucose levels during such times puts the fetus at an elevated risk for birth defects (heart or even spine defects). The recommended blood glucose levels are different during pregnancy and when you aren’t pregnant yet. Failing to contain elevated blood glucose levels before you get pregnant can harm the baby during the first few weeks. But, if you have already failed to contain them and now, if you are aware of your pregnancy as well as elevated sugar levels the first step is to meet your physician and go forward with the necessary course of treatment. It is recommended to keep your glucose levels under complete control at least 3-6 months before pregnancy.
To avoid all these complications its better to be prepared for pregnancy by controlling your sugar levels and keeping them under desired values.
Hormonal changes are many during pregnancy and these changes affect blood glucose levels. This brings about a need to change your approach to diabetes management (including diet changes) even though you have been suffering from diabetes since a long time. People on diabetes medications could be advised to switch over to insulin and changes to their meal routines, activity schedules and medication doses might be brought in.
Pregnancy has the capability to aggravate long-term diabetes problems such as the eye problems and kidney disease, increases the risk of pre-eclampsia and miscarriage and also brings about the possibility that chances of a pre-term delivery are extremely high.
Go for a complete body checkup that includes checking for high blood pressure, eye disease, kidney disease, thyroid problems, nerve damages and heart diseases once you know that you are pregnant. Maintaining blood glucose levels throughout pregnancy is required to avoid resulting complications such as birth defects, miscarriage, premature delivery, impending risk for the baby, jaundice, breathing difficulties, macrosomia and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels during birth). At the same time, increased blood glucose levels increase the risk of worsening of diabetic eye and kidney problems, urinary infections, preeclampsia and difficulties during delivery (maybe a C-section delivery too).
Guidelines During Pregnancy
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.