At High-Risk Pregnancy Specialists, we help expecting mothers manage their diabetes to lessen the risk of potential complications that come along with this condition.
Diabetes Before Pregnancy
If you suffer from diabetes and are looking to become pregnant, you should schedule a preconception counseling appointment with our team. At the time of this appointment, we will provide diabetic education to optimize pregnancy outcomes. Your blood sugar level will be tested to ensure you are healthy enough to conceive a child. Other tests that we can administer to diabetic women who are looking to become pregnant include:
- Blood work to check for proper kidney and liver function.
- Blood work to test cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Urinalysis to check for kidney problems.
The Risk Diabetes Can Pose
Dealing with diabetes during your pregnancy can lead to a variety of complications for both you and your child before and during delivery. Having diabetes puts your child at risk for:
- An increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Being born prematurely.
- Being born with low blood sugar.
- Having a higher than normal birth weight.
- Respiratory distress syndrome.
- Birth defects.
Complications that can impact yourself include:
- Increased risk of c-section.
- Developing diabetes in future pregnancies.
- Developing diabetes later on in life.
- Risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia.
What Is Gestational Diabetes
Even if you do not have diabetes at the time of conception, there is a chance you can develop this condition during your pregnancy. This is known as gestational diabetes and it occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin to process and transport glucose that is in the bloodstream. One of the reasons it develops is due to the types of hormones your placenta produces while you are pregnant. These hormones interfere with the insulin cell’s normal ability to handle glucose. If the body cannot produce enough insulin to make up for this, gestational diabetes can develop. While typically tested for between 24 and 28 weeks into your pregnancy, if your doctor determines you are at a higher risk to develop this condition it will be screened for at the time of your first prenatal appointment.
Who Is At Risk For Gestational Diabetes?
Most women will go their entire pregnancy without developing this condition, as it only occurs in 2% to 10% of pregnancies each year. However, the following contributing factors can put you more at risk for gestational diabetes:
- Certain ethnicities like being African-American, Asian, Hispanic, or Native-American have shown a correlation.
- Being overweight before your pregnancy.
- Being above the age of 25.
- Having a familial history of diabetes.
If these factors apply to you, it is important that you be proactive and take the necessary steps to reduce your chances of developing gestational diabetes. Please talk with our team to see how we can help!
How High-Risk Pregnancy Specialists Can Help
The team at High Risk Pregnancy Specialists are well-versed in helping women through their high-risk pregnancy. The health of you and your child will always be our top priority, and we can help you manage a pregnancy that is impacted by diabetes:
- Monitoring Blood Sugar: It is important to check your blood sugar levels 4 to 6 times a day and relay this information back to our team. By doing so, we will better be able to ensure your blood sugar remains at a healthy level and determine any necessary actions that need to be taken.
- Helping Keep A Healthy Weight: Gaining weight during your pregnancy is important for your child’s natural development. However, adding too much weight increases the risk of diabetic complications. Our specialists can help determine appropriate weight gain during pregnancy. We will also provide a nutritional plan to help safely manage blood sugar levels. In some cases, a workout plan may also be recommended. Exercising can help increase your body’s sensitivity to insulin, meaning less needs to be produced. It can also help with keeping a healthy weight.
- Insulin Intake: Around 10% to 20% percent of women will need insulin injections when dealing with diabetes during pregnancy. The team at High Risk Pregnancy Specialists will determine if you need insulin and prescribe it accordingly.
High-Risk Pregnancy Specialists has a team of medical specialists to help mothers deal with high-risk pregnancies. Don’t hesitate to ask what our practice can do to help.