Diabetes Mellitus and Pregnancy

Effects of Diabetes on the Pregnancy 

Diabetes Mellitus and Pregnancy

Will Diabetes affect my Pregnancy

Diabetes Mellitus and Pregnancy, If you have diabetes, keeping your blood glucose as close to normal as possible before and during your pregnancy is important to stay healthy and have a healthy baby.

What is diabetes mellitus?

Diabetes mellitus (also called "diabetes") is caused by a problem with insulin. Insulin moves glucose out of the blood and into the body’s cells where it can be turned into energy. Pregnancy health care providers often call diabetes that is present before pregnancy "pregestational diabetes."

When the body does not make enough insulin or does not respond to it, glucose cannot get into cells and instead stays in the blood. As a result, the level of glucose in the blood increases. Over time, high blood glucose levels can damage the body and cause serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision problems, and kidney disease.

Your Diabetes Mellitus and Pregnancy treatment

  • Your doctors may recommend changing your treatment regime during pregnancy.
  • With tablets to control your diabetes, you'll normally be advised to switch to insulin injections, either with or without a drug called metformin.
  • If you already use insulin injections to control your diabetes, you may need to switch to a different type of insulin.
  • If you take drugs for conditions related to your diabetes, such as high blood pressure, these may have to be changed.
  • It's very important to attend any appointments made for you so that your care team can monitor your condition and react to any changes that could affect your or your baby's health.

You will need to monitor your blood glucose levels more frequently during pregnancy, especially since nausea and vomiting (morning sickness) can affect them. Your GP or midwife will be able to advise you on this.

Keeping your blood glucose levels low may mean you have more low-blood-sugar (hypoglycaemic) attacks ("hypos"). These are harmless for your baby, but you and your partner need to know how to cope with them. Talk to your doctor or diabetes specialist.

How do Diabetes Mellitus and Pregnancy affect a developing baby?

  • Birth defects. The baby’s organs form during the first 2 months of pregnancy. Uncontrolled blood sugar can affect those organs and cause birth defects. These include defects in the brain, spine, and heart.
  • A large baby. When your blood sugar is high, the baby’s is too. This causes the baby to grow extra-large. It can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby. Large babies are also more likely to be obese or have diabetes when they are older.
  • Preterm birth. This is when the baby is born too early. Babies born early have a higher chance of having problems with their breathing, heart, intestines, and vision. Women with diabetes are more likely to have their babies early.
  • Low blood sugar. When a mother doesn’t control her diabetes during pregnancy, the baby’s blood sugar can dip very low after birth. This can be serious and must be treated quickly.
  • How can my diabetes affect me during pregnancy?

    Hormonal and other changes in your body during pregnancy affect your blood glucose levels, so you might need to change how you manage your diabetes. Even if you’ve had diabetes for years, you may need to change your meal plan, physical activity routine, and medicines. If you have been taking oral diabetes medicine, you may need to switch to insulin. As you get closer to your due date, your management plan might change again.

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