In Diabetes, the body cannot use the sugars and starches (carbohydrates) in the food for making energy. The body either makes no insulin or too little insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes to change those nutrients into energy. As a result, the levels of sugar in the blood increase.
The ideal range of blood glucose levels in the body is:
- 70 to 100 mg/dL before meals
- Less than 120 mg/dL 2 hours after eating
- 100-140 mg/dL before your bedtime snack
Effects of diabetes on your baby
Babies born to diabetic women often suffer from a condition called “macrosomia” In which their body structure is bigger than normal children. Because their mothers have high blood sugar levels, they get too much sugar through the placenta. The baby’s pancreas senses it and makes more insulin to use it up. That extra sugar gets converted to fat, making a large baby. Some babies are too big to be delivered vaginally, and need a cesarean delivery or c-section.
Doctors usually keep an eye on babies of diabetic mothers for several hours after their birth. The blood sugar levels in such babies can dangerously fall right after they’re born because their insulin is based on the high sugar levels in their mothers’ bodies, and when it’s suddenly taken away, their blood sugar level drops quickly and they need glucose to balance it out.
However, unlike the anticipations, the women who are diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can still have a healthy pregnancy. But it’s important to manage their condition before and during pregnancy to avoid any kind of complications.
A pre-conception counseling appointment can help you to be physically and emotionally prepared for pregnancy. Your doctor can help you in controlling your diabetes well enough to conceive a healthy child. A blood test called the glycosylated hemoglobin test (HbA1c, or just A1c) can show you the changes over the past 8 to 12 weeks.
There are several medical tests that can help you in preventing complications during pregnancy:
- Urinalysis to check for kidney problems
- Cholesterol and triglyceride blood tests
- Eye exam to see if you have glaucoma, cataracts, or retinopathy
- Blood work to make sure your kidneys and liver are working
- Foot exam
- Blood Sugar Control
High blood sugar levels early in the pregnancy (before 13 weeks) can cause birth defects. They also can increase the risks of miscarriage and diabetes-related complications.
Medications for Diabetes
Your doctor can adjust the dose of insulin to control your diabetes especially during pregnancy. Your body will probably need more insulin while you’re pregnant, especially during the last 3 months.
Diet for Diabetics
It is always good to go for natural remedies to control your sugar levels. And the best one among those remedies is the RIGHT diet for your body.
Yeah, it’s true that you need to eat for two lives, but “Eating for two” doesn’t mean you should eat twice as much. You only need about 300 more calories each day during your pregnancy. Instead of just eating more, focus on getting foods that are more nutritious.
Still you need a plan to control your blood sugar throughout the day. A good way is to follow a daily plan of three meals and three snacks which includes more
- Carbohydrates such as breads, rice, pasta, grains and potatoes. Choose wholegrain varieties where possible
- Fruit and vegetables
- Pulses, such as baked beans, butter beans or lentils
- Dairy products such as milk, hard cheese and yogurt
- Lean meats and fish
And least amount of
- Packaged and fast foods, especially those high in sugar, baked goods, sweets, chips, desserts
- White bread, sugary cereals, refined pastas or rice
- Processed meat and red meat
- Trans fats from partially hydrogenated or deep-fried foods
- Low-fat products that have replaced fat with added sugar, such as fat-free yogurt