When shopping, pick up some healthy
convenience foods, such as low-sodium canned vegetables, frozen fruits
and veggies, all-natural applesauce or marinara sauce, instant brown
rice, quick-cooking oatmeal, whole-wheat tortillas and pitas, and
low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt.
5. How Your Actions Affect Your Baby’s Development
Diabetes and Pregnancy
Diabetes is one of the most common
medical complications of pregnancy. It occurs in 7 to 8% of all
pregnancies. It was once a very serious problem during pregnancy, but
today many diabetic women go through pregnancy safely.
Diabetes is defined as a lack of insulin
in the bloodstream. Insulin is important for breaking down sugar and
transporting it to the cells. Pregnancy increases the body’s resistance
to insulin. If you don’t have insulin, you will have high blood sugar
and a high sugar content in your urine.
With the use of insulin and the
development of various ways to monitor a fetus, it’s uncommon to have a
serious problem. Of those women who have diabetes during pregnancy, 10%
are type-1 or type-2 diabetics and 90% are gestational diabetics.
Type-1 diabetes causes the body to stop making insulin; type-2
causes the body to use insulin ineffectively. Type-2 diabetes is
becoming more common in pregnant women. The result of either type is
that too much sugar circulates in the woman’s blood.
Pregnancy is well known for its tendency
to reveal women who are predisposed to diabetes. Women who have trouble
with high blood-sugar levels during pregnancy are more likely to
develop diabetes in later life. Symptoms of diabetes include
more-frequent urination, blurred vision, weight loss, dizziness and
Some experts recommend screening pregnant
women at risk for diabetes during the first trimester. Others recommend
testing all pregnant women at 28 weeks. Tests used most often are the
glucose-tolerance test (GTT) or a 1-hour glucose challenge test.
If you have diabetes or know members of your family have diabetes, tell your healthcare provider. This is important information.
Diabetes and Pregnancy.
Diabetes can cause various problems during pregnancy. Your chances of
developing postpartum depression doubles. Birth defects may be more
common and can occur as early as 5 to 8 weeks after the last menstrual
period. That’s one reason it’s important to take care of diabetes before pregnancy. Your risk for having a very large baby (macrosomia) increases; it may require a Cesarean delivery.
If your diabetes is not controlled during
pregnancy, the baby is at greater risk. Women with poorly controlled
diabetes are 3 to 4 times more likely to have a baby with heart
problems or neural-tube defects.
One way to maintain steady blood-sugar levels is never
to skip meals and to get enough exercise. Regular exercise can help
keep blood-sugar levels in check and may reduce your need for medicine.
Insulin is the safest way to control
diabetes during pregnancy. If you already take insulin, you may need to
adjust your dosage or the timing of your dosage. You may also have to
check your blood-sugar levels 4 to 8 times a day. You must balance your
eating plan and your insulin at all times so your glucose levels don’t
climb too high. Avoid long-lasting insulin during pregnancy. It may
also help if you take in more folic acid; discuss it with your
healthcare provider and endocrinologist.
Some diabetic women inject less insulin than they need in an effort to try to lose weight. It is sometimes called diabulimia.
Insulin helps glucose leave the bloodstream and enter the body’s cells
to nourish them. If you have type-1 diabetes and reduce the amount of
insulin you’re supposed to receive, your body can’t process glucose.
Glucose will build up in the blood, which can increase your risk of
Some women take diabetes pills; some oral
antidiabetes medications taken during pregnancy may cause problems for
the developing baby. There are safe oral medications for diabetes in
pregnancy. You may have to adjust the amount of oral medication you
take, and you may need to switch to insulin shots. Your healthcare
provider can advise you.
Talk to your healthcare provider about getting an ultrasound of the baby’s heart. A special ultrasound, called a fetal echocardiogram, can show if the baby has a problem. Some babies need surgery soon after they are born.
If you have
type-1 diabetes, you may experience a delay in your milk coming in.
You’ll need to keep your breasts well stimulated to protect your milk