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Diabetes and Pregnancy: Before and After

By  ,  National Institute of Health
Jan 13, 2013
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

As you know, in diabetes, blood glucose levels are above normal. Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you can manage your blood glucose levels and lower the risk of health problems.

 

A baby’s brain, heart, kidneys, and lungs form during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. High blood glucose levels are especially harmful during this early part of pregnancy. Yet many women don’t realize they’re pregnant until 5 or 6 weeks after conception. Ideally, you will work with your health care provider to get your blood glucose under control before you get pregnant.

 

If you’re already pregnant, see your health care provider as soon as possible to make a plan for taking care of yourself and your baby. Even if you learn you’re pregnant later in your pregnancy, you can still do a lot for your baby’s health and your own.

 

The checklist below can help you make a plan for a safe and healthy pregnancy. More information on each topic then follows. Your health care team can help you with tasks that are difficult for you. Tackle one thing at a time to keep from being overwhelmed.

 
My Diabetes Care Plan for Pregnancy

 

Things I can do to get ready for a healthy pregnancy and continue to do during my pregnancy

 

Planning Ahead

  •     I’ll get my diabetes under control 3 to 6 months before I try to get pregnant.
  •     If I’m already pregnant, I’ll see my health care provider right away.


 
My Health Care Team

  •     I’ll make sure I have the right team of health care providers.
  •     I’ll meet with members of my team.



My Blood Glucose Levels

  •     I’ll set goals with my health care team for my daily blood glucose levels.
  •     I’ll set a goal with my health care team for my A1C test result.
  •     I’ll learn how and when to check my blood glucose on my own.
  •     I’ll learn what to do if my blood glucose is too low.
  •     I’ll make sure my family or friends know how to give me glucagon for low blood glucose.
  •     I’ll learn what to do if my blood glucose is too high.


 
My Ketone Levels

  •     I’ll learn how and when to check my urine or blood for ketones.
  •     I’ll learn what to do if I have ketones in my urine or blood.


 
My Checkups


 
I’ll get the recommended checkups and laboratory tests for

  •     Blood pressure
  •     Eye disease
  •     Heart and blood vessel disease
  •     Nervous system disease
  •     Kidney function
  •     Thyroid disease
  •     Average blood glucose level—the A1C test


 
Smoking


If I smoke, I’ll quit.

 
My Meal Plan

  •     I’ll see a dietitian or diabetes educator about what, when, and how much to eat.
  •     I’ll ask whether I need vitamin and mineral supplements and will take them as directed.
  •     I’ll skip alcoholic beverages.


 
My Physical Activity Routine

  •     I’ll talk with my health care team about what physical activities are safe for me.
  •     I’ll make a plan with my health care team for regular physical activity.

 

My Medications

  •     I’ll talk with my health care team about my diabetes medications—what kinds, how much, how to take them, and when to take them.
  •     I’ll talk with my health care team about my other medications—what to keep taking and what to stop taking.


 
Changes in My Daily Routine

  •     I’ll make a plan for taking care of myself when I’m ill—what to do about food, insulin, blood glucose testing, and ketone testing.
  •     I’ll make a plan for what I need to have with me when I’m away from home—for several hours or for a longer trip.


 
Planning Ahead

 

Before you get pregnant, talk with your health care team about your wish to have a baby. Your team can work with you to make sure your blood glucose levels are on target. If you have questions or worries, bring them up. If you’re already pregnant, see your doctor right away.

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