Diabetes Handbook Online

Pregnancy and family planning

Pregnancy is another crisis for the diabetic woman whose fertility incidentally is no different from any other woman's. It is a problem, however, because the growing baby within her, not itself diabetic, is subject to all the ups and downs of its mother's blood-sugar and insulin levels. The risk to the foetus, therefore, is reduced by having as precise control as possible of the mother's diabetes throughout the pregnancy. This may involve changing her from one daily injections of a long- acting insulin to two or even three daily ones of the soluble and rapidly acting insulin. It will certainly involve her in four times daily -or more-urine testing, and possibly twice daily blood tests at certain stages in her pregnancy.

A lot of obstetricians admit their pregnant diabetics to hospital for the last three months so that it is easier to control the diabetes and to monitor the baby's well-being. Induction of early labour at 36 to 38 weeks (four to two weeks premature) maybe necessary of all such supervision and intervention is to secure a healthy mother and a healthy baby. The diabetic woman, incidentally, can take the Pill as a means of contraception if she wants to use this method of family planning. The hormones in it should ideally be of the lowest dosage level to suit her needs and well-being-but that is true of every woman. diabetic or not.


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