How Does Diabetes Affect Pregnant Women?

How Does Diabetes Affect Pregnant Women?
0 21 June 2018

High blood sugar levels in pregnant women can cause birth defects and can also increase the chances of miscarriage. Let us now discuss elaborately how diabetes can affect a pregnant woman.

It is important to consult a doctor as soon as you come to know that you are pregnant, as high blood glucose level during the early stages of pregnancy can have a negative bearing on the outcome on successful pregnancy. It is during the early period (2 to 4 weeks) that the baby gets affected due to high blood sugar level because it is during this period that the organs of the baby start forming, such as the head, heart and the lungs. There is always a chance of these organs being defective due to diabetes. Examples of such defects include defects in the heart, spine or the brains.

There are many health problems that a pregnant woman can develop due to diabetes. Such problems include kidney disease and problems of the eye. Other health problems that a pregnant woman can develop include toxemia, which is a problem related to high blood pressure and excess proteins in the urine as a result of high level in blood sugar. These problems generally arise during the second half of the pregnancy and may become life threatening both to the mother as well as the baby. In most cases the result is premature delivery, which becomes necessary when reaching the 37th week of pregnancy.

Gestational Diabetes can also affect pregnancy. This happens during the later stage of pregnancy, when a pregnant woman is diagnosed with high blood sugar levels, even if she had never been diagnosed with diabetes. What happens is that, the body is unable to absorb the total amount of insulin released, which may result in the glucose level building up. This is known as hyperglycemia, which can be life threatening for both the mother as well as the baby. There is also a chance of giving delivery of a deformative baby.

Pre-eclampsia is also one of the problems that pregnant women could face if they are diabetic. Such problems arise because of unplanned pregnancy for women already having high blood sugar levels. Multiple complications can arise if the blood sugar is not controlled before conceiving. Vascular complications may also arise due to pregestational diabetes, in which case, fluctuations in blood pressure may arise. Poor control of blood glucose may also lead to giving still birth or the baby is larger in size than normal, which is known as Macrosomia.

To avoid such complications, a pregnant woman having high blood glucose level should do the following.

  • Consult a doctor immediately after coming to know that she is pregnant
  • Stay away from consuming alcohol, drugs and smoking
  • Plan your diet so that there is no intake of food supplements that may increase the blood sugar
  • Get a regular check up to resolve any issue relating to thyroid, kidney, heart and the nerves.

Diabetes can be at sometimes life threatening for pregnant women, and that is why you should carefully monitor the blood glucose levels during every stage of the pregnancy.