A lot of women have told me something like this: “My husband and I are trying to get pregnant but, my numbers are not where I’d like them to be so I’m scared.” Whoa whoa…stop right there.
If this sounds at all like you then read the following 5 things a diabetic woman should do BEFORE getting pregnant. (Because remember, you can try one day and be pregnant the very next ;)
1. Stabilize blood sugars.
By nature, when a woman is pregnant her blood sugar levels lower a bit. During the beginning of my pregnancy my OB suggested I keep this fact in mind and strive for blood sugars that were consistent and within the right range. I’ve often strived for blood sugar around 120. During pregnancy I tried for blood sugars around 80-90 and for less swinging numbers.
So get your A1c checked and get a go ahead from your doctor before trying to conceive. Also, be honest. If you know your A1c is a combination of many lows and highs, aim for more steady glucose numbers.
If your blood sugars are not in the right place, hold off until they are. You owe yourself and your child this.
2. Go get a full check-up
Have your doctor do a full blood panel on you. Make sure your pancreas and liver are functioning well. Get your eyes checked. Let your doctor know you want to know exactly how things are going before you begin trying to get pregnant.
I was in pretty good shape before getting pregnant with twins about 2 years ago. This turned out a blessing because a twin pregnancy doesn’t often allow much movement for many months.
Also, it helps to start out at a healthy weight. If you begin pregnancy overweight, you will have a higher risk for a more complicated pregnancy. And you don’t want that on top of the diabetes. I must admit, I wish I had lost my last 20 pounds before getting pregnant. They are so much harder to lose now that I’m busy with 2 babies.
4. Find an OB you love
Get acquainted with several doctors so you can choose one which will ultimately be your partner in what may be a difficult journey. I was lucky to have a doctor who took her time to listen to me and be patient. She also trusted my handle on the diabetes which I found refreshing. She answered all of my questions thoroughly and even eased my fears and gave me compliments on my maternity wear and pregnancy glow. You also deserve a doctor you can count on for all of these things.
5. Buy Cheryl Alkon’s new book called Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Diabetes.
It is the first book out there to talk about pregnancy and pre-existing diabetes and so far I’ve heard nothing but great things about it.
Stay tuned for an interview with Cheryl and my review of her book coming up very soon!
On a final note, I’d suggest thinking nothing but positive thoughts. Picture your perfect baby in your mind and see yourself as the healthiest mom and baby cuddling together. It may seem like a miracle and it is! And you can certainly do it!