Pre-Pregnancy Health Care For Women With Type 1 Diabetes

It is rather disturbing for any individual to learn that she/he is suffering from diabetes. Compared with type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, which is also known as juvenile diabetes, is a more disturbing condition primarily because it affects a person in the childhood or youth. For a woman in her childbearing age, type 1 diabetes could increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. Fortunately, with advancement in the modern health care system, with proper education and support even women with type 1 diabetes could give birth to healthy babies with minimal complications.

Planning pregnancy
Unlike non-diabetic women, unplanned pregnancy might cause complications in pregnancy. To minimize the risk of complicated pregnancy, it is advisable that a woman with type 1 diabetes should prepare herself for conception. Pre-pregnancy planning should begin at least three months before conception.

Check blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C levels
She should start taking care of her blood sugar level. Normal blood sugar level will minimize risk of miscarriage and birth defects. She should also check her hemoglobin A1C level before becoming pregnant. Uncontrolled blood glucose level pushes up the hemoglobin A1C level in the blood. The hemoglobin A1C level determines the long-term effect of the high blood glucose level. The glucose molecules remain attached to the hemoglobin of the red blood cells throughout the life of the red blood cell. The hemoglobin A1C level should remain below 7 percent. If the hemoglobin A1C level is above 9 percent, you should take immediate steps to bring down the blood sugar level.

Health check up
Women with type 1 diabetes should check whether she is physically fit to endure the strain of pregnancy. Women with diabetes have a higher risk of developing heart diseases, retina disorders and hypertension. Pregnancy could increase the risk of heart illnesses, stroke, retinopathy and high blood pressure. Before becoming pregnant, she should have a thorough health check up to determine the condition of her heart and eyes. You should take prompt action if there is even a slight hint of heart ailment or retinopathy.

Diet and exercise
A diet that is low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and rich in fresh vegetables and dietary fiber rich foods is beneficial for the health. Remember to take folic acid supplements and vegetables rich in folate. Brisk walking and low intensity exercises could help to keep the blood sugar level under control.