We don’t know what particularly causes diabetes during pregnancy, but we have some clues. The placenta that connects mother and baby supports the fetus to develop. Hormones released from the placenta assist in the growth of the baby.
But these hormones may also block the action of the mother’s insulin in her body. This health condition is called insulin resistance, making it hard for the mother’s body to use insulin. Mother might be required up to three times as much insulin.
Who needs insulin?
Pregnant women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes need to take insulin, as they cannot produce sufficient insulin to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. To keep the blood sugar levels in a normal range, pregnant women must take insulin as per their doctor’s suggestion. It is necessary to check the sugar levels, as it will help you to stay healthy. And one can only take insulin through injection.
How to treat with insulin
Your treatment plans have to be changed if you have type 1 diabetes. The need for insulin increases during pregnancy, especially during the last three months. The hormones produced by the placenta (which connects the baby to the mother) block the action of the mother’s insulin.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you might be taking pills to control your blood sugar levels. But your doctor may change your medication as the oral pills are not safe for your baby. Moreover, insulin resistance during pregnancy often decreases the effectiveness of the oral medication.
In the case of gestational diabetes, lifestyle changes, proper meal planning, and exercise play an important role in maintaining blood sugar levels. However, your doctor may give you insulin if your blood sugar levels are still high.
Is it safe to take insulin?
Doctors prescribe insulin to maintain proper blood sugar levels. Oral medications have the possibility of crossing the placenta and affecting your baby. But unlike oral medicines, insulin doesn’t cross your placenta. So it’s often considered safe to take insulin during pregnancy.
But if you have trouble taking insulin, you may ask your doctor for any alternate options. Some doctors prescribe medicines like metformin and glyburide as studies show that they are safe.
When should you not take insulin?
Sometimes insulin might cause low blood sugar if there is not enough glucose in your body. It mostly happens when you skip a meal or consume too much insulin.
Dizziness, blurry eyes, sweating, etc., are the warning signs of having low blood sugar. Eat something sweet like jaggery, raisin, or dates if you experience such conditions. Your blood sugar level increases quickly.
How should you take insulin?
Insulin is usually injected under your skin using a syringe or an insulin pen. How much insulin should be taken varies from time to time during pregnancy.
Your doctor might prescribe fast-acting insulin that might last longer for about 12 hours or overnight. Fast-acting insulin works right away to help your body use glucose from the food.