Diabetes and Pregnancy

  • January 28, 2018
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Diabetes is a serious disease in which body cannot properly control the amount of Sugar due to lack of insulin. It is the condition in which body cannot use sugar and starches it takes in as food make energy, the body either makes no insulin or too little insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes to change those sugars and starches into energy. As a result, extra sugar builds up in the blood. Diabetes during pregnancy can cause serious complications. Poor control of diabetes during pregnancy increases the chance for birth defects and other problems for the pregnancy.

Diabetes is the condition in which pancreas in body either makes no insulin or too less insulin that the body cannot use its sugar for energy. Diabetes can cause serious birth defects if mother having diabetes and not controlled at time. The body parts of the baby in the womb starts formation in the first 3 months and if blood sugar not controlled can affect those organs while they are formed and can cause serious defects in the developing baby especially to brain and spine.

With uncontrolled blood sugar, baby is overfed and has extra growth. Over large babies can cause trouble to mother at the time of delivery. The mother might need C section to deliver a body and due to pressure on shoulder at the time of delivery, a baby can be born with nerve defects section may make recovery time from childbirth longer than of normal delivery.

When a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, protein in her urine, and often swelling in fingers and toes that doesn’t go away, she might have preeclampsia. It is a serious problem that needs to be watched closely and managed by her doctor. High blood pressure can cause harm to both the woman and her unborn baby. It might lead to the baby being born early and also could cause seizures or a stroke (a blood clot or a bleed in the brain that can lead to brain damage) in the woman during labor and delivery.

Diabetes may become one of the causes for miscarriage and stillbirth.

Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Some women have more than one pregnancy affected by gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually shows up in the middle of pregnancy. Doctors most often test for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Often gestational diabetes can be controlled through eating healthy foods and regular exercise. Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must also take insulin.

Eat Healthy Diet

Eat healthy foods from a meal plan made for a person with diabetes. A dietician can help you create a healthy meal plan. A dietician can also help you learn how to control your blood sugar while you are pregnant. Add variety of fruits to your diet, drink plenty of water. Try to consume natural sugar. There are many fruits rich in natural sugar and acts as substitute to sugary taste like Apricot, Banana, fig, cherries, grapes, Pomegranates, Mangoes and many more. Along with sugar control benefit, these provide more health benefits.

Exercise Regularly

Physical activity is very crucial for breakdown of sugar and fats in the body. It also balance the food intake. In consultation with doctor a pregnant women can do exercise like walking, swimming, cycling and low impact aerobics. Take caution and never overdo any exercise in pregnancy.

Monitor blood sugar often

Because pregnancy causes the body’s need for energy to change, blood sugar levels can change very quickly. Check your blood sugar often, as directed by your doctor.

Take Insulin, If Needed

Sometimes a woman with gestational diabetes must take insulin. If insulin is ordered by your doctor, take it as directed in order to help keep blood sugar under control.

Get Tested for Diabetes after Pregnancy

Get tested for diabetes 6 to 12 weeks after your baby is born, and then every 1 to 3 years. For most women with gestational diabetes, the diabetes goes away soon after delivery. When it does not go away, the diabetes is called type 2 diabetes. Even if the diabetes does go away after the baby is born, half of all women who had gestational diabetes develop type 2 diabetes later. It’s important for a woman who has had gestational diabetes to continue to exercise and eat a healthy diet after pregnancy to prevent or delay getting type 2 diabetes. She should also remind her doctor to check her blood sugar every 1 to 3 years.


There is no reason why women with diabetes should not breast-feed. Insulin requirements are generally slightly lower during this time. Insulin does not pass into the breast milk and is not harmful to the baby.

Hypoglycaemia can be an issue. You should discuss with your doctor or credentialled diabetes educator about strategies to minimise hypoglycaemia.

Foods to eat for a diabetic diet include complex carbohydrates, for example:

– Brown rice
– Whole wheat
– Quinoa
– Oatmeal
– Fruits
– Vegetables
– Beans
– Lentils

Food to avoid or reduce the consumption

– Sugar
– White pasta
– White bread
– Flour
– Cookies
– Pastries
– White potatoes
– Breakfast cereals
– Pastries and sweets
– Fruit juice
– Pineapples
– Soft drinks
– Watermelon
– Avoid the consumption of Alcohol

Remember a healthy mother can give birth to a healthy baby