You may think that you can’t be diabetic and pregnant. However, women with Type 2 diabetes can still have healthy pregnancies. By following a strict diabetes management plan and working closely with your health-care team, you can manage both pregnancy and diabetes.
A Word About Gestational Diabetes
Some women who have never had Type 2 diabetes can develop diabetes during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can lead to Type 2 diabetes at the end of pregnancy, or it can resolve completely once the baby is born. If you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, lifestyle changes such as controlling your weight and modifying your diet may help you resolve the condition. If not, the following tips may help you.
Diabetes Management During Pregnancy
If you have Type 2 diabetes, you’ll need to adjust your diabetes management plan during your pregnancy. Women who are diabetic and pregnant need to check their blood glucose frequently, as many as four times per day. Talk to your doctor about when to check your blood sugar, and what your blood sugar goal should be.
If you use pills to control your Type 2 diabetes, your doctor may switch you to insulin—diabetes pills may not be safe for your baby. You may also have to take medications at different times of day, or stop taking certain medications altogether. Remember to work with your doctor and follow your new diabetes management plan carefully.
The vast majority of women gain weight during pregnancy. If you’re diabetic and pregnant, you’ll need to monitor this weight gain carefully. Talk to your doctor about how much weight you should plan to gain. If you’re at a normal weight, plan to gain between 25 and 35 pounds (or around 15 pounds if you’re overweight).
Getting daily exercise can help you deal with pregnancy and diabetes. If you haven’t exercised on a regular basis, talk to your doctor first. Walking or swimming may be good activities to try.
Pregnancy can lead to nausea and vomiting. There may be days when you’re vomiting or don’t feel like eating. Talk to your doctor at the beginning of your pregnancy about an action plan for sick days. Find out when you should call your doctor, and what you should do regarding your medication doses when you’re unable to eat.
American Diabetes Association. (2010). Living with diabetes: Prenatal care. Retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/pregnant-women/prenatal-care.html
American Diabetes Association. (2010). What is gestational diabetes? Retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/what-is-gestational-diabetes.html
Mayo Clinic. (2010). Diabetes and pregnancy: Why lifestyle counts. Retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-and-diabetes/DA00042/NSECTIONGROUP=2
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2008). For women with diabetes: Your guide to pregnancy. Retrieved January 12, 2011, from http://www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/pregnancy/