hormonal

Support during a diabetic pregnancy

“I’m sure all husbands worry about their pregnant wives, but it’s extra worrying because my wife is diabetic and has to be in such strict control – or it could really harm our baby. I’m trying to be supportive, but sometimes it’s difficult… Especially because she’s so emotional!” Mark Roberts.

Dear Mark,

You have my sympathy!

Women who are pregnant can be on a real rollercoaster ride of emotions – highs and lows and everything in between. While some women seem to ‘bloom’ during pregnancy and are full of life, happiness and vitality, other women are tearful and apprehensive.

Pregnancy is a powerful experience: huge hormonal changes and a life-changing event are a lot to deal with. A woman who has diabetes has even more on her plate.

It is wonderful that you are supportive. Part of the support that you give should be helping your wife eat the right kind of diet, check her blood sugar regularly and do the right exercise.

The fear you have about the health of your baby is real, but this is also relevant for any pregnancy. Hopefully you have planned the pregnancy and worked out an action plan with your health care team. If your wife is keeping to her programme, the risk of anything going wrong is minimal. Contact her gynae or endocrinologist if you feel that something is not right: it is natural to worry, but one of the best solutions is not to nag her.

Mood swings tend to happen most frequently in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The mood swings usually decline between 3 to 6 months because the levels of the hormones become more constant. Here your wife will start to feel better and have more energy and hopefully be less emotional.

The emotions are difficult to cope with, I agree. It can be very helpful to allow yourself time out if the going gets tough! Remember that a pregnancy affects both partners: the golden rule is to talk about how you are feeling. You must voice your worries, concerns and anxieties. This goes a long way to relieving them.

Most importantly, don’t forget to take time for you and your wife to relax together and enjoy this wonderful, intimate and very exciting time.

Sometimes just being supportive and loving is the best thing you can do.

Enjoy your baby!

– Jeannie Berg, Diabetes Educator