Having a child is a life-changing experience, but when you are getting pregnant with insulin resistance with complications or are at high-risk, then this may cause some additional worry. Luckily, with plenty of support, you can have a child even if you have complications, like insulin resistance.
If you have insulin resistance, know that getting pregnant may take a little longer. This is because of the hormone changes caused by insulin sensitivity. However, there is no cause for concern here. With the right resources and planning, you could be well on your way to a healthy pregnancy.
Here’s what you need to know about getting pregnant with insulin resistance:
Planning Your Pregnancy With Insulin Resistance
Pregnancy is an emotional and physical journey and planning for your pregnancy can be really helpful. While there are of course unplanned pregnancies, preconception planning can be crucial for women who are trying to conceive and have insulin resistance.
Preconception planning involves establishing basic needs, like costs, time commitments, maternity and paternity leave, supplies, and health care needs. But for women with insulin resistance, it requires health monitoring as well.
Here’s how to get pregnant with insulin resistance:
Monitor Your HbA1c Levels and Keep Them Regular
Because the baby’s major organs develop in the first 8 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, it’s important to keep your blood sugar tightly monitored. Unfortunately, persistent high blood glucose levels can increase the risk of abnormal fetal development.
The Australian Diabetes Society recommends that women with type 1 diabetes who are seeking to get pregnant have a hemoglobin HbA1c as close as possible to normal (HbA1c < 6.0% for type 2 diabetics, HbA1c < 7.0% for type 1 diabetics.) “Pre-gestational diabetes is associated with serious adverse pregnancy outcomes such as miscarriage, congenital malformation, pre-eclampsia and perinatal death.” These targets must be discussed with your medical team and will alter due to your personal circumstances.
You’ll Need a Diabetes Care Team
Since your pregnancy will have to be monitored closely, you’ll have to connect with your medical team early on to let them know that you are preconception planning. Your medical practitioner will be able to offer guidance and recommendations around your unique needs.
Consider finding an OB/GYN who specializes in high-risk pregnancies and a dietitian as they will need to be at your delivery to monitor your glucose levels.
Assess Your Medical Regimen
While planning, take a look at your medication to see what you need. Some medications and supplements aren’t considered safe during pregnancy, so you’ll have to talk to your medical practitioner about what you need to take and what you can take. You’ll also want to understand potential interactions.
Be prepared for an increase in your insulin dose during pregnancy. You could also consider myo-inositol to help with insulin balancing.
Add in Prenatal Supplements
That said, you will need to consider prenatal vitamin and mineral supplements. Folic acid, B6, and zinc are important for child development but speak with your medical practitioner about any interactions your medication may have with these supplements.
Preparing for Conception
Women without insulin resistance who can plan for pregnancy are encouraged to do some lifestyle behavior changes to prepare for the bundle of joy. These include:
- Monitoring your menstrual and ovarian cycles to time intercourse during ovulation
- Considering target weight range for getting pregnant
- Assessing diet and exercise regimens to improve health
- Quitting smoking and drinking for fetus health
Each of these eliminations will help make conception easier and encourage a healthier gestational period. Speak with your doctor about how to best go about this.
Being Pregnant With Insulin Resistance
Once you become pregnant, you’ll have to be mindful of your insulin levels throughout the pregnancy. Women with elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance are at greater risk of fertility challenges. This is due to changes in reproductive function hormones, which can be affected by hemoglobin HbA1c (blood sugar) levels.
Unfortunately, there is a higher chance of miscarriage due to these fluctuations. For women with polycystic ovary syndrome, this can be a time when gestational diabetes mellitus shows up (insulin resistance that comes about due to pregnancy). Therefore, be sure to speak with your doctor once you have conceived so you can know what to expect.
Gestational diabetes can impact your baby as well. If your blood sugar levels get out of hand, then this can tell the baby’s pancreas that it has too much glucose. In that case, they may be born with very low glucose levels and breathing issues. These babies are also at risk of obesity and type 2 onset diabetes later on in life.
Managing Complications Associated with Pregnancy and Insulin Resistance
While becoming pregnant with insulin resistance may sound a little intimidating, there is plenty that can be done to manage this.
If you have PCOS, insulin sensitivity, or type 1 diabetes, then you can prepare for the complications associated with pregnancy.
Be sure to:
- Speak with your medical practitioner regularly so you understand how your hemoglobin HbA1c levels should look
- Exercise regularly to keep your blood sugar levels down
- Eat healthy to minimize risks of high blood sugar levels that can happen on the baby
- Monitor your blood glucose level trends
- Ask about medication complications, like prenatal pills, metformin, inositol supplementation, and insulin dosages for fetus health
Putting Your Best Foot Forward
With support and planning, you can put your best foot forward and have a healthy pregnancy. Of course, speak with your doctor right away so you better understand the risks associated with getting pregnant if you have insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, type 1 or type 2 diabetes, and PCOS.
Knowing your risks is the first step in a healthy, successful pregnancy.
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