Prenatal Care For Diabetic Moms
Getting Pregnant when you have Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
There is no reason that you can not get pregnant and have a healthy baby because you are diabetic. But there are precautions and preparations that should be taken to provide a healthy pregnancy for both you and your unborn baby.
Before you try to become pregnant, you should have a discussion with your doctor to let him or her know your plans. They will review your medical history and give you advice on the best way to proceed or if you should wait.
The reason you would be asked to wait is if your Hemoglobin A1C test results were high. Even though a reading of less than seven is considered good diabetic control it is better to have a lower number (around six) for the best chance at a healthy start. The reason it is so important to have good blood glucose control before you get pregnant is because of a reduction in the chance of your baby being born with birth defects.
The first six weeks of pregnancy are when the baby’s internal organs are just starting to form. If they are exposed to high blood sugar levels during this time it is highly likely the baby will be born with birth defects or other complications.
But once you have the go ahead from the doctor to try and conceive you will still need strict control over your diabetes. Your insulin requirements while you are pregnant are going to increase as the placenta releases a hormone that can block insulin production. If you follow the diet provided by your doctor and remain healthy during your pregnancy your insulin requirements will most likely return to normal once the baby is born.
Mothers who have diabetes will still have regular pregnancies and can breast feed once their babies are born.
Stock Your Kitchen
To make breakfast at home, keep your kitchen stocked with some healthy staples. Pick a few foods that you like from the list below and keep them on hand.
Fresh fruit — whole fruit like apples, banana, oranges, clementines, pears, nectarines and peaches are easy to grab and go
Frozen fruit — keep a bag or two in your freezer to use in smoothies or to mix with light yogurt
Canned fruit — try individual-sized cups of mandarin oranges, peaches or fruit cocktail (canned in juice, not syrup)
Dried fruit — raisins, dried cranberries, etc. are great in oatmeal or mixed with nuts
Quick oats — in single-serving packs or a bulk container (quick oats can be ready in less than 2 minutes)
100% whole wheat bread or English muffins
Unsweetened whole grain or bran cereal
Unsalted nuts — try dry roasted walnuts, pecans, almonds, peanuts or a mix
Peanut butter and/or almond butter — nut butters will keep you feeling full from the combination of protein and fat
Eggs & Dairy
Eggs or egg substitute — they cook quickly and can be ready in a matter of minutes
Skim or 1% milk — soymilk or almond milk are also good options, especially for those with a lactose intolerance
Light/non-fat yogurt (regular or Greek) — plain is best, flavored varieties will have more carbohydrate
Cottage cheese — try 1% or 2% low-fat cottage cheese to cut back on the calories
Frozen peppers and onions — you can add these to egg sandwiches, wraps or omelets
Fresh tomatoes — these also go well with egg sandwiches or cut them up cottage cheese