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Diabetes is a disorder in which the body is unable to create insulin or to use the sugars and carbs it consumes as food to produce energy. This is due to decreased insulin synthesis, which transforms carbohydrates and starches into energy. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood and causes diabetes.
There are two possibilities if you plan to conceive and become a mother.
1. You may already be diabetic.
2. Diabetes can develop later in pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes.
In scenario 1, if you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you must maintain strict control over your blood sugar levels, since these can have an impact on your child and your pregnant days. The following are some issues that may arise if you have pre-existing diabetes:
1. Birth defects: The baby’s organs develop throughout the first two months of pregnancy, often before a woman realises she is pregnant. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause harm to those organs as they develop, leading in serious birth defects in the growing infant, such as brain, spine, and heart issues.
2. The birth of an extra-large baby: If the diabetes is not adequately controlled, the baby’s blood sugar will be high. The infant becomes “overfed” and grows excessively large. A large baby can pose complications during delivery for both the mother and the baby, as well as discomfort for the woman throughout the last few months of pregnancy.
3. Preeclampsia (high blood pressure): Preeclampsia is a condition in which a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, and chronic swelling in her fingers and toes. It may result in preterm birth of the baby, as well as seizures or a stroke in the mother during labour and delivery (a blood clot or haemorrhage in the brain that can cause brain damage).
4. Premature birth: Breathing problems, heart problems, brain bleeding, digestive problems, and vision impairments can all arise if a baby is delivered prematurely. Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are more likely to deliver birth prematurely than women without diabetes.
5. Miscarriage or stillbirth: A miscarriage happens when a pregnancy is terminated before the 20th week. When a baby dies in the pregnancy beyond 20 weeks, this is referred to as stillbirth. Miscarriages and stillbirths can occur for a variety of reasons. A woman who has poorly controlled diabetes is more likely to miscarry or have a stillborn kid.
These complicated problems can be avoided if the mother plans for pregnancy, consults with her doctor, and controls her blood glucose levels by adjusting medications as needed and having frequent check-ups. Women can also follow a balanced eating plan to assist regulate their blood glucose levels, exercise regularly to balance their food intake, and monitor their blood glucose levels frequently to keep them under control.
The next type of diabetes is gestational diabetes, which occurs for the first time while a woman is pregnant. It normally goes away once you have your child. It does, however, increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are extra dangers for your child.
During pregnancy, the placenta is an organ that supplies nutrients and oxygen to the growing foetus. The placenta also produces hormones. In late pregnancy, oestrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen may block insulin. Insulin resistance develops when insulin is blocked. Glucose is unable to enter the body’s cells. Because the glucose lingers in the bloodstream, blood sugar levels rise.
All pregnant women suffer some insulin resistance in late pregnancy. However, some women are insulin resistant even before becoming pregnant. They require more insulin at the start of pregnancy and are more likely to develop gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes is connected with the following risks:
If you have gestational diabetes, pregnancy may increase your risk of high blood pressure. It may also increase your chances of having a large baby who requires a C-section.
Your baby is more prone to have the following problems if you have gestational diabetes:
1. Being extraordinarily large (9 pounds or more), which might make delivery difficult.
2. Premature birth, which might result in respiratory and other complications.
3. Low blood glucose levels
4. Type 2 diabetes onset in later life
Your blood sugar levels should return to normal after your baby is born. However, nearly half of women who have gestational diabetes later in life develop type 2 diabetes. You can lower your risk after birth by maintaining a healthy body weight.
Tips for dealing with gestational diabetes:
1. Keeping an eye on your blood sugar levels to ensure they stay within a safe range.
2. Eating the right kinds of healthy foods at the right times. Follow the healthy eating plan recommended by your doctor or nutritionist.
3. Being active is essential. Regular moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) lowers blood sugar levels and enhances insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to require less insulin. Check with your doctor to discover what types of physical activity you can undertake and which ones you should avoid.
4. Keep a close check on your child. Your doctor will keep track of your baby’s growth and development.
Diabetes can be controlled in women who have it prior to pregnancy or develop it during pregnancy, and the kid can be born healthy. A routine check-up and consultation with diabetes experts are required. Connect with professionals that have helped hundreds of pregnant women balance their blood glucose levels to get the right guidance in key days of your life.
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