Last updated on Jun 11th, 2021 at 12:57 pm

It’s understandable for you to feel overwhelmed by the thought of pregnancy when you’re living with diabetes …

However, being diabetic doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a healthy pregnancy or the excitement that comes along with motherhood.

Here are a few tips on how to take care of yourself and your baby during your pregnancy.

1.   Plan ahead as far as possible

The best time to prepare for your pregnancy is once you’ve decided that you’re ready for a baby. Because pregnancy changes your body, you might have to make a few changes to the way that you manage your diabetes – from your diet and physical activity to your medication – in order to ensure that your blood glucose remains under control.

High glucose levels can be harmful to your baby in the first few weeks of your pregnancy, so it’s important to get your blood glucose levels under control before conceiving.

If you’re already pregnant, don’t stress, simply speak to your doctor or get a supportive healthcare team. Your doctor should be able to assist you in coming up with a plan for taking care of yourself and your baby during this special time.

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Have a good healthcare team

Having good healthcare professionals who really understand diabetes will make it easier for you to manage your diabetes and your pregnancy. There are a few tests that your doctor might advise you to have in order to prevent certain problems or catch them early.

These could include:  

  • Urinalysis to check for kidney problems
  • Cholesterol and triglyceride blood tests
  • Eye exam to see if you have glaucoma, cataracts, or retinopathy
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Blood work to make sure your kidneys and liver are working
  • Foot exam

2.   Have a healthy eating plan

Making the right changes to your diet during your pregnancy will help ensure that your blood glucose levels and your weight are kept under control.

If you’re taking insulin but struggling to keep your food down, you’re not alone

It would be best to speak to your dietitian to learn when you need to eat, how much you need to eat and how to maintain a healthy weight. Be prepared to have to visit your dietitian every few months during your pregnancy, so that you can make sure your diet plans remain intact and that it gives you and your baby all the right nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.

3.   Handling morning sickness

If you’re taking insulin but struggling to keep your food down, you’re not alone. Your doctor and dietitian should be able to help you identify what changes you need to make to your diet or lifestyle to help you cope with morning sickness.

These may include:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking plenty of fluids (little and often instead of large amounts at once), to prevent vomiting
  • Eating small frequent meals high in carbohydrates and low in fat
  • Avoiding foods and smells that might make you feel ill

AllLife_01Research resources:

  • http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/diabetes/5-tips-for-a-healthy-pregnancy-with-diabetes/
  • http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/diabetes-types.html
  • http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2010/aug/a-guide-to-pregnancy-with-diabetes.html?referrer=https://www.google.co.za/
  • http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20406169,00.html
  • https://freestylediabetes.co.uk/living-with-diabetes/diabetes-and-pregnancy/coping-with-morning-sickness

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.