Preparing for pregnancy—good reasons to start today
Let's think into the future. Imagine sitting in a rocking chair playing with ten brand-new, tiny toes. That's the image you can remember every time you check your blood glucose, visit your doctor or say no to a glass of wine. And it's absolutely worth it.
Not ready for parenthood yet? Here's what you can do now.
There are several things you can do to prepare for pregnancy well before you're ready to conceive.
- Read about it—just not too much. When you understand the risks, you can take steps to reduce them, but it could be overwhelming if you dwell on them. Stay confident knowing that many women with diabetes have happy, healthy pregnancies.
- Find a great doctor. Seek out an obstetrician/specialist who has cared for other women with diabetes. You two are going to get pretty close throughout your pregnancy, so make sure it's someone you feel good about.
- Ask about your targets. Your doctor may want you to aim for a tighter blood sugar range when you're trying to get pregnant and throughout your pregnancy.1
- Fine-tune your blood sugar. Keeping your numbers in range is incredibly important for your healthy pregnancy—even before you conceive.1
Why start early? You never know.
Once you start trying to conceive, it could happen any time. High blood sugar can affect your baby in those first few weeks, before you even know you're pregnant, so make it a habit to stay in range. You may find that more frequent blood glucose checks help you improve control by guiding insulin doses, helping you identify patterns in your numbers, and helping you quickly respond to high or low blood glucose.
Once you're pregnant, you'll have more advice than you can handle—from your doctor as well as family, friends and strangers on the street. Try to stick to the more reliable information sources and keep smiling. After all, there's a baby on the way.
1Diabetes UK. Pregnancy and diabetes. Available at:http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Living_with_diabetes/Pregnancy. Accessed June 30, 2015.