Pregnancy with type 1 diabetes equates to 40 weeks of lurking potentials. Fear of health risks for mom and baby. Scary complications. Extra doctor's visits.
How then, with risk factors in mind, do pregnant moms with type 1 diabetes not drive themselves mad with worry?
Take The Helm
- Plan Your Pregnancy - With proper planning, controllable risk factors can be limited. With foresight harmful medications can be removed, prenatal vitamins taken early, and excellent diabetes control will be under way.
- Utilize Technology - With continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps, times have changed dramatically in diabetes management. Many risk factors are mitigated with blood glucose control, especially in the first trimester.
- Surround Yourself with Positivity - If you are continuously fending off negative emotions from healthcare providers who don't believe in a successful pregnancy with type 1 diabetes address it with them — or it may be time to move on.
- Embrace Change - There is constant change in pregnancy, such as insulin needs and body changes. Diabetes will require increased amounts of attention for a successful outcome.
According to Joslin, babies born to women with type 1 diabetes do have a higher chance of birth defects. Still, most babies are born healthy, and fortunately, many aspects of pregnancy are controllable through strict diabetes management.
A Complication to Watch Out For
But others may happen regardless of rigorous diabetes control.
Preeclampsia is a condition during pregnancy marked by hypertension and protein in the mother's urine that can develop into eclampsia, the life-threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy. All pregnant women can get preeclampsia, but pregnant women with type 1 diabetes have a risk two to four times higher than that of women without it.
Thankfully, according to Medscape, researchers think they have identified some novel markers that may help identify diabetic women most at risk, such as "previous history of preeclampsia, age, BMI, diabetes duration, blood glucose control, and blood pressure."