How Does Diabetes Impact Pregnancy?

How Does Diabetes Impact Pregnancy?

Diabetes affects the way your body controls sugar, or glucose, in your system. It can affect anybody at any age, but it’s especially problematic when you’re pregnant. 

Whether you have diabetes before conceiving or have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, getting the proper care helps you maintain a healthy pregnancy.

At our office in Plano, Texas, Dr. John Paul Roberts treats both healthy and high-risk pregnancies. Dr. Roberts is an OB/GYN with years of experience, and he and his team can help you understand diabetes to keep both you and your baby safe.

Types of diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes high levels of glucose in your blood. It’s usually due to a problem in your pancreas, along with insulin production. There are three main types of diabetes:

Type 1 diabetes

This type of diabetes is caused by a problem with your insulin production. Your body needs insulin to regulate your blood sugar. With Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas either makes too little insulin or no insulin at all. If you have Type 1 diabetes, you need daily injections of insulin.

Type 2 diabetes

With Type 2 diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or doesn’t use the insulin efficiently to convert the sugar to energy. You might be able to manage Type 2 diabetes with a change in diet and exercise, but you may also need to take pills or insulin if diet and exercise alone don’t work.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes hits when you’re pregnant and didn’t have diabetes beforehand. Diet and exercise often are enough to manage the condition, but you might need daily insulin. 

Gestational diabetes often goes away after you give birth, but if it doesn’t, you’re considered to have Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes and pregnancy

Whether you have diabetes before you become pregnant or you’ve been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, it has the potential to really affect your health. But you’re not the only one affected: Diabetes also puts your baby’s health at risk.

Keeping your blood sugar under control is the single best thing you can do if you have diabetes and are pregnant. High levels of blood glucose pose certain problems for your health during pregnancy, some of which include:

You’re also more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes when you have gestational diabetes. This can make future pregnancies difficult, too.

Can diabetes affect your baby?

Diabetes, whether gestational or otherwise, certainly has the potential to affect your pregnancy and your baby. Your baby relies on your body to provide the proper nutrients, so when your glucose is high, your baby is affected.

There are a number of ways that diabetes can affect your baby, some of which include:

Another way diabetes affects your baby is macrosomia, also known as “fat baby.” This occurs when the glucose from your blood crosses the placenta to your baby. This increased glucose causes your baby’s pancreas to produce more insulin to balance out the sugar. 

But increased insulin production in your baby also leads to fat accumulation, causing your baby to grow much bigger than normal. This can lead to a number of problems, including a difficult birth and possible injury to you and your baby.

You can decrease your risk of any of the above problems by receiving regular prenatal care. Start as soon as you find out you’re pregnant, so Dr. Roberts can monitor your health and the health of your baby.

If you’re diabetic and pregnant, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. Roberts today. You can call our office in Plano, Texas or book an appointment on this website.

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