May 06, 2009
By: Body1 Staff
According to the March of Dimes, approximately 1 in 100 women of childbearing age has diabetes prior to pregnancy. Even though most women with diabetes have healthy pregnancies and ultimately healthy babies, women with diabetes are at higher risk for miscarriage, stillbirth and babies with birth defects.
Tests to Expect While You’re Expecting
Ultrasound – a test using sound waves to check the baby’s growth and development.
Electronic Fetal Monitoring – is used to detect signs of problems later in the pregnancy.
Biophysical Profile – is created by combining electronic fetal monitoring and ultrasound results.
Kick Count – is a measure of how often you feel your baby move. Your doctor may ask you to keep track of these movements in the latter part of your pregnancy and report any decrease in activity.
If you are a women with diabetes considering pregnancy the first item on your to-do list should be to establish good blood sugar control. Diabetic women with well controlled blood sugar at the time of conception have nearly the same odds of having a baby without birth defects as a non-diabetic. It is important to let your doctor know you are considering getting pregnant so your treatment routine can be adjusted appropriately. During the course of your pregnancy you may have a need for other specialists including:
Gynecologist/Obstetrician: Ask your regular ObGyn if she has experience handling high-risk pregnancies and if she has delivered babies for diabetic patients. If not, ask for a recommendation to a more experienced doctor.
Eye specialist: It is important for your eyes to be closely monitored during pregnancy since diabetes-related damage to blood vessels in your eyes can progress during pregnancy.
Pediatrician: Start the search for the doctor who will care for your new baby early in your pregnancy. This will allow for plenty of time to meet with a number of doctors before you are busy with the demands of new motherhood.
In addition, your diabetes healthcare team will be involved with your pregnancy in order to assist you with adjusting your diet and insulin requirements as you progress towards childbirth. When you go into labor, your healthcare team will closely monitor your blood sugar and adjust your insulin accordingly. Once you bring the new baby home, don’t neglect your own health. It is important to resume regular blood glucose monitoring especially if you decide to breast feed. If you experience more highs or lows than usual, contact your doctor. Keeping your blood sugar in check is critical to maintaining good health and ultimately raising a healthy child.