Pregnancy and the thought of bringing a new life into this world can be scary – particularly when managing your diabetes.
Often a patient’s main concern centres around the difficulties of actual conception, rather than how to stay healthy during the pregnancy itself.
But at NEEDS we support patients through all stages of their lives. In today’s blog, we speak to Louise, a NEEDS patient who has Type 2 diabetes.
Louise was initially concerned that her diabetes would affect her ability to have children. She is now pregnant with her second child and has some advice on how to stay fit and well.
- Be prepared
Planning and being prepared for your pregnancy is something I can’t recommend highly enough. Obviously, this isn’t always possible, but having a healthy relationship with your diabetes before falling pregnant will make it easier for you to adapt to the changes you will face.
- Ask questions
When I fell pregnant with my first child I had a number of worries and wondered how my diabetes would affect this process. There is a lot of stuff online that scares you even more, but after speaking to a specialist midwife at Colchester Hospital, I felt re-assured at every stage of the process.
- Adjusting your lifestyle
You will find yourself getting used to checking your blood 3-4 times a day, which will be increasingly important in monitoring you and your baby’s health. I recommend using different placings otherwise your hands tend to get sore.
It is also likely that your insulin dosage will increase, as your body has more of a demand for insulin. This will help manage your blood glucose levels and ensure that your baby is not growing too much (a common problem with diabetic mums to be).
I had a regular appointment with my Diabetes team about every 4 weeks and also had to adjust my diet to reflect my new circumstances.
- Get a pill box and keep a diary
With so many different tablets to take (vitamins, aspirin, diabetic tablets) it can be easy to forget what you have taken, so using a pill box can help you to keep track.
A diary will also allow you to track changes in your blood glucose levels, behaviours and various symptoms. This will not only help you to stay in control of your pregnancy, but is also useful to share with the specialist team during any appointments.
- Pregnancy is worrying, but diabetes doesn’t have to be a problem.
Having experienced a diabetic pregnancy already, I am fully aware of the dangers of being pregnant with diabetes. By planning ahead, asking the right questions and being prepared for change – your diabetes doesn’t have to be a problem.
Individual advice on a one to one basis with the specialist midwife is available through NEEDS. Please speak to your GP practice to refer, or you can contact us directly.
You can also find more information on useful links below: