If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you’re aware of the medical maintenance you need to incorporate into your daily routine in order to manage your sugar levels. You probably already own a blood sugar monitor with a stock of test strips, lancets and prescriptions meds to help you keep your sugars balanced throughout the day.
If you’re pregnant with diabetes, it becomes imperative that you work with an endocrinologist during the course of your pregnancy because your insulin needs will change as your body changes and prepares for delivery. You may have only taken oral medications to treat your diabetes before you became pregnant, but as your pregnancy progresses, insulin shots will likely be necessary.
Before pregnancy is a very important time to control your blood sugar. A fetus starts developing before many women realize they are pregnant, and high blood glucose levels are especially harmful during the first eight weeks of pregnancy. It is important to get your diabetes under control 3 to 6 months prior to getting pregnant.
A woman’s body changes as the baby grows. With diabetes, these changes will also affect your blood glucose level. Using home blood glucose checks will help you monitor your levels and try to set blood glucose targets. The American Diabetes Association suggests certain target blood glucose numbers before pregnancy and during pregnancy. However, make sure to ask your doctor what targets are right for you.
- Before a meal and when you wake up: 80 - 110 mg/dL
- 1 to 2 hours after eating: 100 - 155 mg/dL
- Before a meal, bedtime, and overnight: 60 – 99 mg/dL
- 1 to 2 hours after eating: 100 – 155 mg/dL
An endocrinologist will help you monitor your blood sugar and will adjust your dosage of insulin throughout your pregnancy, since your body will produce less insulin on its own. It’s extremely important for the healthy development of your baby to maintain a proper diet, particularly your carbohydrate intake, during your pregnancy. Without good blood sugar control, risks of miscarriage, fetal abnormalities and underdeveloped organs in your baby are much higher. However, women who keep their blood glucose levels under control before and during pregnancy, the risk of birth defects is the same as women who do not have diabetes. Don’t risk it! Visit your endocrinologist or talk to your OBGYN for a referral right away.
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