Before trying to conceive, women should schedule a doctor’s appointment about 3-6 months in advance. At this appointment, the healthcare provider can provide specific tests to ensure the woman is healthy enough to get pregnant. For example, an A1C test to check blood sugar will determine whether a woman’s diabetes is being managed appropriately. The American Diabetes Association recommends that all adults maintain an A1C of less than 7%. Keeping blood sugar in this target range lowers a woman’s chances of miscarriage or birth defects.
What are your medications?
Some diabetes medications or insulin doses are not safe for pregnancy. In some cases, women may need to switch to different medicines or change their insulin intake before getting pregnant. Managing blood sugar is the most crucial part of managing diabetes, so women need to ensure adequate time to make any changes and stabilize blood sugar before pregnancy. When blood sugar is stable before getting pregnant, this lowers the chances of any problems with blood sugar during pregnancy.
Rule out additional conditions
Diabetes can lead to additional complications, like kidney problems, thyroid disease, glaucoma, cataracts, or retinopathy. A doctor will recommend screening for any of these conditions as another step in making sure that a woman’s diabetes is well-controlled. The doctor will also check cholesterol and triglycerides and take the mother-to-be’s blood pressure.
Improve your lifestyle habits
Incorporating healthy habits into a daily routine can go a long way in managing diabetes effectively. Additionally, starting these habits now helps to ensure that women will maintain good habits throughout pregnancy. Focus on eating a diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Regular exercise is another essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Aim for 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity. If a woman has been sedentary for a while, experts recommend easing into a new routine slowly to prevent injury.
Healthy pregnancy, healthy baby
Improving health before pregnancy can go a long way in lowering the risk of birth defects, miscarriage, or other complications. Remember to get the green light from a trusted OB/GYN before trying to conceive. For more information about diabetes and pregnancy, speak with an OB/GYN.