Q: How Will My Type 1 Diabetes Affect My Pregnancy?

Diabetes Endocrine Treatment Specialists

Q: How Will My Type 1 Diabetes Affect My Pregnancy?

Every pregnant woman has questions when it comes to her pregnancy. However, someone with type 1 diabetes faces many more challenges and concerns. Having type 1 diabetes means your pregnancy experience will be different than someone without diabetes, and how you manage your diabetes will need to change during this time. 

How Type 1 Diabetes can Impact Your Pregnancy

Several concerns can arise in your pregnancy if your blood glucose levels are not well managed.

  • High blood pressure
  • Early delivery
  • Large-sized baby
  • Need for a c-section delivery
  • Congenital disabilities

This list may look scary, but the most important thing to know is that the better you care for yourself and your diabetes, the lower the risk of any complications.

How Type 1 Diabetes Responds to Pregnancy

The many changes that take place in your body during pregnancy mean your diabetes will respond in new and unexpected ways. Due to hormonal changes and all the work your body is doing growing your baby, new strategies may be required to keep your blood glucose stable. 

Pregnancy and Blood Glucose Control

Many women with type 1 diabetes experience difficulty maintaining stable blood glucose levels while pregnant. The range for healthy blood glucose is a little different during pregnancy to allow for the expected changes in how the body responds to insulin. 

One of the most important things you can do during your pregnancy is check your blood glucose often.  Your body is experiencing a host of changes throughout these nine months. This means your blood glucose will fluctuate as your own, and the baby’s needs evolve with each stage of pregnancy. 

Low blood glucose is always a cause for concern; however, it is even more critical to identify and treat low levels immediately during pregnancy. If you don’t already, always have glucose tabs or gels on hand.

Pregnancy and Insulin

During your pregnancy, your insulin needs will be different than what you were used to previously. Insulin is both safe and necessary during your pregnancy. It does not cross the placenta to your baby, but it is essential to keeping your baby healthy by providing enough, but not too much blood glucose.

Your medical care team may recommend new or different medications or methods of insulin administration. Again, it is essential to constantly monitor your blood glucose so you can adjust to changing insulin needs. 

Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes

You may have a routine and system in place that has been working well to manage your type 1 diabetes. During your pregnancy, it is important to be flexible. What worked before likely won’t work now and having a healthy pregnancy requires you to be on top of changes and responsive to your body’s new needs. 

Here are four things you can do to manage your diabetes during pregnancy:

  1. Check your blood sugar often! This will give you the best chance to stabilize your blood glucose levels and make good choices for you and your baby.
  2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet. You only need an extra 300 calories for your growing baby during pregnancy. It’s important not to overeat while at the same time choosing nutrient-dense foods to ensure adequate growth for you and your baby. Working with your doctor and dietitian to build a meal plan will help!
  3. Exercise. If your doctor clears you for exercise, getting healthy movement for at least 30 minutes a day can aid in managing glucose levels. Plus, it’s just plain good for you and your baby.
  4. Keep in close touch with your medical care team. Being pregnant with type 1 diabetes means it will take more work to keep you and your baby healthy. Your team is there to guide you and keep you safe.

While it is unavoidable that your type 1 diabetes will impact your pregnancy experience, never fear; just like you’ve managed type 1 diabetes before you were pregnant, you can successfully manage type 1 diabetes now.

Make your appointments now to visit with your medical care team and put a plan in place for a healthy pregnancy and birth.



Schedule Your Appointment