When you find out you're pregnant, one decision you'll have to make is whether to have your prenatal care provided by a midwife or an obstetrician. Midwives do an excellent job looking after pregnant women, but there are certain circumstances which may make hospital-based care from an obstetrician the preferred choice. When you have type 2 diabetes, there can be some additional care considerations to take into account, and you have an increased risk of developing certain complications. Most women with diabetes will have normal pregnancies and healthy babies, but obstetricians are highly skilled at dealing with health-related complications and high-risk pregnancies, so it can be reassuring to know your prenatal care provider is equipped to manage whatever you might face during pregnancy and labour. Here are two benefits of obstetric care for those with type 2 diabetes:
When blood sugar levels aren't well managed, your risk of developing certain complications in pregnancy increases. As obstetric prenatal clinics operate in a hospital setting, your doctor will easily be able to monitor your blood sugar levels and work alongside your diabetic nurse practitioner should any changes need to be made to your medication. As insulin can be less effective during pregnancy due to a hormone released by your placenta, it's reassuring to know that regular medication monitoring will be in place when you attend an obstetric clinic.
Additional Foetal Scans
Your obstetrician will want to monitor the growth and development of your baby more closely than is required in women without type 2 diabetes. This is due to the impact high blood glucose levels can have on your baby's development and your increased risk of premature labour. Your obstetrician will carry out additional ultrasound scans to monitor your baby's growth and development, and as your pregnancy progresses, the frequency of these scans may also progress to ensure that if there are any signs that your baby is not doing well, your doctor has the opportunity to intervene as quickly as possible. For example, they may recommend you have steroid injections to strengthen your baby's lungs, or they may recommend an early delivery by C-section if your baby requires medication or surgery.
These are just a couple of ways obstetric care can benefit you and your baby when you have type 2 diabetes. If you're anxious about being pregnant with diabetes, you'll also have the opportunity to ask your doctor any questions you have throughout your pregnancy, and they can work with you to create a safe birth plan, which can help put you at ease and allow you to enjoy your pregnancy. If you'd like to see an obstetrician, simply ask your GP to refer you to your local maternity hospital as soon as you find out you're pregnant.
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