DIABETES – PREPARING FOR PREGNANCY
Why is it important to have your diabetes under control before pregnancy?
High blood sugar at the time of conception is harmful to your baby as it can lead to abortion and birth defects especially of heart and spine. Organ formation of the baby is largely completed by the first eight weeks of pregnancy hence you may not be aware of your being pregnant.
Uncontrolled diabetes is also harmful for you as it can affect your eyes and kidneys. These complications can worsen further during pregnancy, so you need to be aware whether you have them before you plan to conceive.
What is the pre-pregnancy diabetes target?
The latest guidelines recommend that the pre pregnancy HbA1c should be below 6.5% to reduce the risk of birth defects.
How can you prepare for pregnancy?
Plan a visit to your diabetes specialist for pre-pregnancy counseling.
The aim of pre-pregnancy counseling is to stay in good blood sugar control 2 to 3 months before you become pregnant.
It involves –
- Review of your diabetes control.
- Checking your eyes and kidneys
- Switching to insulin if you take pills to control your blood sugar before becoming pregnant
- Stopping of non pregnancy-friendly pills e.g. cholesterol lowering pills, some blood pressure lowering pills etc. Switching to safe blood pressure pills for pregnancy.
- Taking folic acid tablets to reduce your chances of having neural tube defects (defects of spine and brain).