- How to get pregnant
- Fertility preservation: Understand your options before cancer treatment
- Female fertility: Why lifestyle choices count
- see all in Fertility
Parental health (7)
- Pregnancy after miscarriage: What you need to know
- Preconception planning: Is your body ready for pregnancy?
- Pregnancy after 35: Healthy moms, healthy babies
- see all in Parental health
Pregnancy symptoms (4)
- Home pregnancy tests: Can you trust the results?
- Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens right away
- Pregnancy due date calculator
- see all in Pregnancy symptoms
Preparing for pregnancy: When you have diabetes
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Physical activity is another important part of your diabetes treatment plan. During your preconception appointment, get your doctor's OK to exercise. Then choose activities you enjoy, such as walking, swimming or stationary biking. What's most important is making physical activity part of your daily routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity — based on Department of Health and Human Services guidelines for exercise during pregnancy. If you haven't been active for a while, start slowly and build up gradually.
Remember that physical activity affects blood sugar. Check your blood sugar level before and after any activity, especially if you take insulin. You might need to eat a snack before exercising to help prevent low blood sugar. If you're using an insulin pump, you might need to adjust the basal rate for exercise.
Know what's off-limits
When you're preparing for pregnancy, don't:
- Skip doses of insulin or other medications
- Drink alcohol
- Use illegal drugs
It's also important to keep stress under control. Too much stress can interfere with your blood sugar level and make it harder to take good care of yourself — and your baby.
Patience pays off
Preparing for pregnancy might take a number of months and multiple visits to your health care provider. In fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends maintaining good blood sugar control for three to six months before attempting to conceive. Your health care provider might want you to reach a specific hemoglobin A1C level — a reflection of your blood sugar level for the past two to three months — before pregnancy.
Until your health care provider gives you the green light for pregnancy, remember to use a reliable method of birth control. A healthier pregnancy is worth the wait.Previous page
(2 of 2)
- Mersereau P, et al. Barriers to managing diabetes during pregnancy: The perceptions of health care practitioners. Birth. 2011;38:142.
- Tripathi A, et al. Preconception counseling in women with diabetes: A population-based study in the north of England. Diabetes Care. 2010;33:586.
- Zabihi S, et al. Understanding diabetic teratogenesis: Where are we now and where are we going? Birth Defects Research. 2010;88:779.
- Jovanovic L, et al. Prepregnancy evaluation and management of women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 16, 2011.
- 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx. Accessed Sept. 16, 2011.
- Diabetes basics: Tips. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/tips/tips-search-results.html?tip_category=exercise&page=2. Accessed Sept. 16, 2011.
- Diabetes and pregnancy. American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/publications/patient_education/bp051.cfm. Accessed Sept. 16, 2011.
- Before pregnancy. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/pregnant-women/before-pregnancy.html. Accessed Sept. 16, 2011.
- Tieu J, et al. Preconception care for diabetic women for improving maternal and infant health. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2010:CD007776. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed Sept. 16, 2011.
- Stress. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/stress.html. Accessed Sept. 16, 2011.
- Harms RW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 20, 2011.