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Diabetes In Pregnancy

When The Baby Is Born

Friday, November 8, 2013 - 13:11

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Labor is hard work. Although most women don't need insulin injections once contractions start, you may be given fluids, calories, and, if necessary, insulin, through an intravenous tube inserted into your hand or arm.

It's important to maintain good control of your blood sugar levels up to the time you arrive at the hospital to deliver your baby. If your blood sugar is high during labor, it can cause low blood sugar in your baby during the first few hours after birth. (The baby produces its own insulin. High levels of glucose in your blood during labor stimulate high levels of insulin production in the baby. Once the baby is born, it is no longer receiving glucose from your body. If too much insulin has been produced, hypoglycemia can result.)

Nice To Know:

Q: Can I breast-feed?

A: Breast-feeding is strongly recommended. Breast-feeding counteracts low postpartum levels of blood sugar in your newborn and helps you lose extra pounds for four to five months after the birth.

Your chances of developing type 2 diabetes later in life are greater if you've had diabetes in pregnancy. The following lifestyle changes go a long way in detecting problems early and reducing your risk.

  • Have your blood sugar checked within three months after your baby is born and rechecked every year.
  • Aim to lose a pound or two a week and maintain a normal weight.
  • Return to regular exercise soon after giving birth (4 weeks after a normal delivery).
  • Continue monitoring your blood glucose at home while you are trying to lose weight to learn how certain foods affect your blood sugar.
  • Lose excess weight before becoming pregnant again.

How To Information:

Tips for women with pre-existing diabetes:

Emotional ups and downs can cause wide swings in blood sugar levels. Make sure your blood sugar doesn't go too low.

  • Test your blood sugar often.
  • Be alert to the signs of low blood sugar (confusion, shakiness, dizziness).
  • Keep a source of fast acting sugar, such as orange juice, handy while breast-feeding.
  • Have your own snack or meal as you feed your infant.
  • Don't get so preoccupied with the baby that you forget to eat. Careful timing of meals is critical to diabetes control.

 

Diabetes In Pregnancy