Preparing for pregnancy when you have diabetes
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By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you have diabetes — either type 1 or type 2 — and you''s safer for use in pregnancy or make other changes to your diabetes treatment plan before you conceive. If you also have high blood pressure, your blood pressure medications may need to be changed because some blood pressure drugs aren''re preparing for for 1 last update 30 May 2020 pregnancy, blood sugar management becomes more important than ever.If you have diabetes — either type 1 or type 2 — and you''s safer for use in pregnancy or make other changes to your diabetes treatment plan before you conceive. If you also have high blood pressure, your blood pressure medications may need to be changed because some blood pressure drugs aren''re preparing for pregnancy, blood sugar management becomes more important than ever.
Your health care provider will recommend that you reach a specific hemoglobin A1C level before pregnancy. A1C is a blood test that gives your doctor an idea of your blood sugar levels during the past two to three months. The American Diabetes Association generally recommends a pre-pregnancy A1C of 6.5%.
Your baby''re pregnant. If your blood sugar isn''s risk of birth defects — particularly those affecting the brain, spinal cord and heart — increase.
Your health care provider will help you establish your target blood sugar range. He or she will also evaluate your diabetes treatment plan and consider any changes that might improve it. The goal is to keep your blood sugar level as close to normal as safely possible.
Technology can help
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Your diabetes diet probably already includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. You can eat those same foods while you''re having trouble keeping your blood sugar in your target range or you want to lose weight before pregnancy, consult a registered dietitian. A dietitian can help you customize your meal plan to meet your pre-pregnancy needs.
Your health care provider will also likely recommend taking a daily prenatal vitamin beginning before conception to make sure you get enough vitamins, especially folic acid. Folic acid is important for preventing neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida.
Physical activity is another important part of living well with diabetes. During your preconception appointment, get your doctor''t been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually.
Remember that physical activity affects blood sugar. Check your blood sugar level before and after any activity, especially if you take insulin. You might need to eat a snack before exercising to help prevent low blood sugar. If you're using an insulin pump, you might need to adjust the basal rate for exercise.
Patience pays off
Until your health care provider gives you the green light for pregnancy, remember to use a reliable method of birth control. A healthy pregnancy is worth the wait.
for 1 last update 30 May 2020 Dec. 14, 2019Dec. 14, 2019 Show references American Diabetes Association. Management of diabetes in pregnancy. Standards of medical care in diabetes — 2019. Diabetes Care. 2019; doi:10.2337/dc19-S014. Alexopoulos AS, et al. Management of preexisting diabetes in pregnancy: A review. JAMA. 2019; doi:10.1001/jama.2019.4981. Thong EP, et al. Diabetes: A metabolic and reproductive disorder in women. The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. 2019; doi:10.1016/S2213-8587(19)30345-6. Pregnancy if you have diabetes. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/diabetes-pregnancy. Accessed Oct. 21, 2019. AskMayoExpert. Type 1 diabetes mellitus: Management related to pregnancy. Mayo Clinic; 2018. Greene MF, et al. Pregestational diabetes mellitus: Glycemic control during pregnancy. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Oct. 24, 2019. Han S, et al. Different types of dietary advice for women with gestational diabetes mellitus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2017; doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009275.pub3. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. 2nd ed. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition. Accessed Oct. 21, 2019. See more In-depth