Diabetes and Pregnancy
Diabetes and pregnancy each have their own risks. However, when a woman who already has diabetes becomes pregnant, even more potential complications arise. By following your healthcare provider's instructions, you can take the steps necessary to reduce the risk of problems and ensure a safe, healthy pregnancy.
As a diabetic, your risks for complications during pregnancy and childbirth are higher. Although still uncommon, it is more likely for you to have:
- Complications related to high blood pressure
- A larger-than-average baby, which can make it difficult or impossible for you to have a vaginal delivery
- Greater probability of having a preterm (early) delivery
- A reaction to certain drugs used during the delivery
- Higher risk for fetal malformations if your blood sugar is not well controlled when you get pregnant
- A delayed healing process.
For these reasons, it is important for you to attend all scheduled pre-natal and follow-up appointments. You should let your doctor know right away if you have trouble controlling your blood sugar and if any of the previously mentioned symptoms develop.
Infections can be a serious problem for people with diabetes. If your doctor thinks you might have an infection, you may need medicine and treatment immediately. Because of the risks involved with diabetes and pregnancy, it is essential for you to communicate with your healthcare team so that they can minimize any potential problems.
If you have diabetes, you probably know a lot about the signs and symptoms that go along with abnormal blood sugar levels. Some of these include:
- Difficulty with your vision
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling slow or tired
- Not getting better from a cold or flu
- Having infections that don't go away or don't get better
- Feeling very thirsty
- Needing to go to the bathroom a lot
- Feeling hungry all of the time.
Blood sugar levels can be difficult to control, both during and after delivery, so it's important to follow your doctor's instructions carefully after you go home. If you get an infection after the delivery, it can make controlling your blood sugar difficult and may require IV antibiotics.
With any problem, you may be asked to check your blood sugar levels more frequently. It is important to report any changes to your doctor as soon as possible so that appropriate treatment can be started if necessary.