4. Changes in You

Your healthcare provider will measure you at every visit after this point. He or she may use a measuring tape or his or her fingers to measure by finger breadth. As baby grows larger, your uterus will be checked to see how much it has grown since your last visit. Within limits, changing measurements are a sign of baby’s well-being and growth.

You will also be weighed and your blood pressure checked at each visit. Your healthcare provider is watching for changes in your weight gain and the size of your uterus. What’s important is continual growth and change.

Loss of Fluid

Your uterus grows larger and gets heavier. In early pregnancy, it lies directly behind the bladder, in front of the rectum and the lower part of the colon, which is part of the bowel. Later in pregnancy, the uterus sits on top of the bladder. As it grows, it can put a lot of pressure on your bladder. You may notice times when your underwear

Emotional Changes Continue

Do you find your mood swings are worse? Are you still crying easily? Do you wonder if you’ll ever be in control again? Don’t worry. These emotions are typical at this point in pregnancy. Most experts believe hormonal changes are the culprit.

There’s not much you can do about moodiness. If you think your partner or others are suffering from your emotional outbursts, talk about it with them. Explain these feelings are common in pregnant women. Ask them to be understanding. Then relax, and try not to get upset. Feeling emotional is a normal part of being pregnant.

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 increased hunger.

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 problems.

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 supply.

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