Women’s Health Practice we advocate you see your gyno or an ob-gyn for a pregnancy planning visit. During this visit you should be , at screened for a variety of preventable problems in pregnancy including, for abnormal sugar tolerance as well as diabetes.
Optimizing blood sugar levels before pregnancy is important for several reasons. Here are some facts to consider:
- Healthy fetal development: High blood sugar levels in the mother, especially in the early stages of pregnancy, can increase the risk of birth defects and other complications. The placenta pumps sugar to the baby, therefore maintaining stable blood sugar levels before conception reduces this risk and supports proper fetal development.
- By optimizing blood sugar levels before you are pregnant is proven to reduce risk of gestational diabetes: Gestational diabetes is a condition that occurs during pregnancy and is characterized by high blood sugar levels. Women who enter pregnancy with pre-existing diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance are at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes. By optimizing blood sugar levels before conception, the risk of developing gestational diabetes can be significantly reduced, but not eliminated! It is not a failure if you become a gestational diabetic, it’s probably the placenta!
- Having a miscarriage cannot always be prevented, but you can lower risk of miscarriage: Elevated blood sugar levels have been associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. By controlling blood sugar levels prior to pregnancy, the chances of a successful pregnancy are improved, reducing the risk of miscarriage.
- Prevention of other pregnancy complications: Poorly controlled blood sugar levels can lead to various complications in the mother, such as preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy), infections, and an increased risk of cesarean delivery. Optimizing blood sugar levels before pregnancy helps minimize these risks and promotes a healthier pregnancy for the mother.
- Long-term health benefits: Pre-pregnancy optimization of blood sugar levels is not only beneficial for pregnancy but also for the long-term health of the mother. It helps reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and promotes overall cardiovascular health.
- Increased fertility: High blood sugar levels can negatively impact fertility in both men and women. In women, it can disrupt menstrual cycles and ovulation, while in men, it can affect sperm quality and motility. By optimizing blood sugar levels, the chances of conception are improved.
- Better management of diabetes during pregnancy: If a woman with pre-existing diabetes becomes pregnant, it is crucial to have well-controlled blood sugar levels from the start. By optimizing blood sugar before conception, the transition to managing diabetes during pregnancy becomes smoother and reduces the risk of complications for both the mother and the baby.
- Lastly, obesity itself, with or without blood sugar issues and lead to increased risks of stillbirth, high blood pressure in pregnancy, gestational diabetes, going over due, deep blood clots in pregnancy, and increased risk of severe maternal illness in pregnancy. Thus achieving ideal body weight before conception is important.
It’s important to note that each individual’s situation may vary, and it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice on optimizing blood sugar levels before pregnancy.