Type 1 Diabetes And Pregnancy: Complications & How To Prepare?

For most women pregnancy is the time for rejoicing and amazement. But for women with preexisting diabetes either type 1 or type 2, these nine months are considerably worrisome. Despite scientific advances the risk of complications during pregnancy in diabetic women has not decreased, especially when she has poor control over her blood sugar. High blood sugar can pass through the placenta and damage the fetal organs when they are in developing stage inside the womb.

Type 1 diabetes usually begins in children and young adults. In type 1 diabetes insulin is not produced by the pancreas at all and the patient has to take insulin from outside.

Insulin keeps a check on glucose level in blood. Even if a woman has type 1 diabetes a good planning and keeping blood sugar level under optimal range will help her to have a safe pregnancy.

Complications With Type 1 Diabetes And Pregnancy

Development of fetal organs begins from the first few weeks of pregnancy. A diabetic woman therefore needs to plan and bring back her blood sugar level to the optimal range before she conceives. It will reduce the risk of complications associated with preexisting type 1 diabetes during pregnancy. Below are given possible complications that may occur in a diabetic pregnant woman.

Complications in the fetus:

  • Miscarriage.
  • Birth defects in baby particularly affecting the brain, heart and the spinal cord.
  • Premature delivery.
  • Baby with enormous size and weight. There is a risk of baby growing too big in woman with diabetes.
  • Breathing difficulty.
  • Jaundice in baby.
  • Retarded fetal growth.
  • Low level of glucose in blood during birth.

Complications of type 1 diabetes in pregnant woman:

  • Risk of retinopathy and other eye problems.
  • Increased risk of infection in urinary tract and vagina.
  • Preeclampsia or high blood pressure in pregnant woman.
  • Increased chances of cesarean section due to larger size of baby.

Preparing For Pregnancy With Type 1 Diabetes

If you are suffering from type 1 diabetes, you have to preset certain goals before you try to conceive. It is a good idea to control blood sugar level within the targeted range 3 to 6 months before you plan to conceive. Certain changes in lifestyle are also essential.

  • Stop alcohol and smoking.
  • Consult your doctor for Hb A1c test. It is a blood sugar measurement test that indicates how your blood sugar was fluctuating in last 3 months. Try to bring HbA1C below 7%.
  • To prevent fetal birth defects, start taking folic acid containing supplements and foods six months before you plan to conceive.
  • Eat healthy food. Include more fiber containing foods in your diet. Avoid sugar and other products that are rich in sugar.
  • Start exercising for at least 30 minutes in a day.
  • Consult your eye specialist for eye checkup.

The goal of all above tips is to bring blood glucose level near to normal range with tight glucose control. If you are obese, try to reduce your weight.

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