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How to Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy While Managing Diabetes

How to Ensure a Healthy Pregnancy While Managing Diabetes

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it’s no secret that it can take a toll on your body. And if you have a preexisting condition like diabetes, managing it can be particularly challenging when you’re expecting.

Whether you have Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes, proactively managing your condition is the best way to ensure  your health and the health of your baby. 

Board-certified OB/GYN A. Michael Coppa, MD, and our team specialize in high-risk obstetrics, so we’ve put together some essential tips on how to have a healthy pregnancy while managing diabetes.

Prioritize preconception care

If you’re planning to get pregnant, now is a good time to schedule a preconception appointment. We offer preconception counseling and can help you learn more about diabetes management during pregnancy.

Talk to your diabetes care team about your plans to conceive, too. Getting your diabetes well-controlled before you get pregnant can reduce your risk of complications and help make sure your body is ready for the demands of carrying a baby. 

This might involve adjusting your medication, adopting a healthier diet, and increasing physical activity.

Consider joining support groups or online communities for pregnant women with diabetes. Sharing experiences and advice with others in similar situations can provide valuable support and encouragement.

Monitor your blood sugar regularly

When you’re pregnant, frequently monitoring your blood sugar levels is essential. Maintaining blood glucose within your target range reduces the risk of complications like preeclampsia, preterm birth, and large birth weight.

In some cases, your health care team may recommend using a continuous glucose monitor, because it provides real-time data and helps you make timely adjustments to your insulin, diet, or activity levels.

Eat a balanced diet

Good nutrition is important for all pregnant women, and eating a well-balanced diet helps manage diabetes, too. Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods, including whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.

We understand that pregnancy aversions and cravings can make choosing healthy foods challenging, but we're here to provide support and guidance to help you find palatable options that don’t negatively affect your blood sugar levels.

Stay active

Regular physical activity can enhance insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce stress — and it also helps improve your overall health during pregnancy.

Try pregnancy-safe, moderate exercises like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga. Always consult your health care team before starting any new exercise regimen to make sure it’s safe for you and your baby.

Take your medications as prescribed

Managing diabetes during pregnancy often involves making adjustments to your medications. Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding insulin and other diabetes medications. 

Never skip doses or alter your medication regimen without consulting your health care team first, because it can lead to dangerous fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Go to all your prenatal appointments

Most women have 12-14 prenatal appointments with their OB/GYN during pregnancy, and each visit is important for monitoring the health of both you and your baby. Dr. Coppa and our care team take your vital signs, monitor your baby’s growth, and track your blood sugar levels.

We work with you and your diabetes care team to adjust your treatment plan as needed and monitor for any complications. Your prenatal appointments are a perfect opportunity to discuss any concerns you have and get guidance on managing your diabetes throughout your pregnancy.

Plan for labor and delivery

As you approach your due date, we work with you to develop a birth plan. Elements can include how you can manage your diabetes during labor and delivery, including blood sugar monitoring and insulin administration. 

Planning ahead can help ensure a smoother delivery and reduce stress.

Managing diabetes during pregnancy requires careful planning and close collaboration with your health care team. But with the right care, you can maintain healthy blood sugar levels and promote a healthy pregnancy. 

Schedule your first prenatal appointment with Dr. Coppa online or call one of our offices in Cranston, Providence, or Smithfield, Rhode Island, to get started.

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