Maternal care: Diabetic mothers can have safe pregnancies

Published: July 4, 2011

Women who want to conceive should pay a “pre-conception” visit to their doctors.

KARACHI: 

Women suffering from diabetes type 1 and type 2 can now have healthy babies if they make a few changes in their lifestyle, experts have said.

Controlling blood glucose levels, a daily intake of folic acid, a balanced diet, no smoking and regular exercise can enable the mothers to have healthy pregnancies, according to an article published in the Diabetes Digest.

Women who want to conceive should pay a “pre-conception” visit to their doctors. The visit will enable the doctor to assess their condition and adjust the drug or food regimen accordingly.

According to the Diabetic Association of Pakistan, diabetes poses a greater risk of miscarriage, and other serious threats to the proper development of the fetus. Birth defects can occur when the baby’s organs are growing in the early part of the pregnancy. Another major risk is that the babies grow too big, a condition known as ‘macrosomia’, because of high glucose levels in the mother’s blood. This creates problems in delivery and also harm’s the baby’s health.

Hypothyroidism, or abnormally low thyroid function is said to be common, especially among women with diabetes type 1, and affects the development of nervous system of the baby.

Obesity also creates problems during pregnancy, like high blood pressure and increased chances of a Caesarian section. Type 2 diabetes is usually controlled with diet and exercise, and oral medications if required.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2011.

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