Type 1 diabetes and pregnancy have a very complicated relationship with each other.
And less than one percent of women who become pregnant, already have diabetes. Many of these have type 1 diabetes.
In either case, the disease can cause problems for both the baby and the mom.
The Main Type I Diabetes Pregnancy Problem is Overcoming Insulin Suppression
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body produces certain pregnancy hormones to aid in carrying the baby to term. Some of these hormones have the side effect of blocking insulin.
In a non-diabetic woman, this is usually not a problem because the body will compensate by producing enough insulin to counteract the effect of the hormones. In a woman with type I diabetes, however, the body does not produce insulin.
Therefore she will need to consult with her doctor about how much extra insulin she will have to take in order to manually counteract the pregnancy hormone effects.
Some women with type I diabetes experience a degree of retinopathy. This is a situation in which the eye’s retina is progressively damaged. Some symptoms of retinopathy is blurred vision and having what’s known as “floaters” in you line of sight.
There are various degrees of retinopathy – the worse of which can lead to blindness. It the case of a pregnant woman with retinopathy, the retinopathy has a tendency to get worse during the course of the pregnancy. Why this happens is not known. But one thing that can help to prevent it is to conscientiously monitor your blood glucose to ensure that it remains in a normal range. A pregnant person with type I diabetes should be constantly in touch with her doctor to ensure that no damage is being done to her eyes over the course of the pregnancy.
Having Diabetes During Pregnancy Has An Effect On The Baby
Macrosomia is a condition where a fetus becomes unusually large or oversized. It’s mainly caused by diabetes (both type I and type II as well as gestational diabetes during pregnancy) in the mom. Because of the abnormally large size of the fetus, it becomes more likely that the mom will have to have the baby delivered via a C-section instead of through the vaginal.
But, macrosomia, has a delayed effect on the baby as well. Baby’s born with this effect have a greater change of developing problems in later live. Problems such as obesity, respiratory problems, and a greater chance of them developing type II diabetes.
The bottom line is that a pregnant women with diabetes has to be vigilant in monitoring her glucose levels not only for herself, but for her unborn child as well. For some as yet undetermined reason, there is an undeniable link between pregnancy and diabetes. To mitigate the possible problems as much as possible, she must keep her blood sugar under control during the pregnancy.