PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can present unique challenges during pregnancy, but with proper care, most women with PCOS can have a healthy pregnancy. Managing PCOS during pregnancy requires careful attention and collaboration between the expecting mother, healthcare provider, and a multidisciplinary team.
Risk Faced By Pregnant Women With PCOS:
Dr Asha Dalal, who is the director of obstetrics and gynaecology at Well Women Centrein Sir H N Reliance Hospital shared the risks faced by women with PCOS who are pregnant:
- Miscarriage in early pregnancy and Stillbirth
- Obese PCOS women may have increased foetal anomalies
- Excess weight gain
- Gestational Diabetes
- Increased risk of Caesarean deliveries.
She also added, “There can be an increased incidence of multiple pregnancy especially when any Artificial Reproductive Technology was used. The babies may be big if there is a Gestational Diabetes called macrosomia, or the babies are small due to a growth restriction when associated with hypertension.”
Tips To Manage PCOS During Prenancy:
Dr Asha Dalal said, “Some may need Progesterone support in the early weeks of pregnancy. They should watch their weight. Avoid putting on excess weight which in turn can cause diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy. For this it is important to exercise in pregnancy under supervision and definitely should seek advice of a nutritionist to see that they have a healthy diet with adequate protein and high in fibre with less carbohydrates to prevent excess weight gain.”
- An oral Glucose tolerance test (OGTT) should be done in the first and second trimester trimester to check glucose levels .
- Low dose aspirin is advocated for women at risk of developing Preeclampsia.
- Sometimes these women may have depression and this needs to be addressed and treated
- If there is Obesity or Gestational Diabetes, Metformin may be given.
Most woman do well in pregnancy but they need to be aware of their problems and timely help is very useful.
Other Ways To Manage PCOS During Pregnancy
Dr. Aarthi Bharat, who is a Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospitals, Banashankari, Bangalore shared some essential steps to manage PCOS during pregnancy:
- Regular Prenatal Care: Once pregnant, attending regular prenatal check-ups is crucial. These appointments help monitor the pregnancy’s progress and ensure both the mother and baby are healthy. Your healthcare provider will discuss your PCOS-related concerns and adjust your care accordingly.
- Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: PCOS often involves insulin resistance, which can increase the risk of gestational diabetes. Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels and following a balanced diet can help manage this risk. Your healthcare provider may recommend glucose tolerance tests to assess your glucose tolerance during pregnancy.
- Maintain a Healthy Diet: A well-balanced diet is essential for managing PCOS during pregnancy. Focus on whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Avoid excessive sugar and processed foods. A registered dietitian can help create a personalized meal plan that meets your nutritional needs.
- Stay Active: Regular physical activity can help manage weight gain and insulin resistance. Consult with your healthcare provider about safe exercise options during pregnancy. Low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga are often recommended.
- Medications and Supplements: Some medications commonly used to manage PCOS symptoms may need to be adjusted or discontinued during pregnancy. Discuss your medications with your healthcare provider to ensure you are taking what is safe for both you and your baby. Prenatal vitamins are essential to ensure you get essential nutrients.
- Manage Hormone Levels: PCOS is characterized by hormonal imbalances, which can be further exacerbated during pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may monitor hormone levels and make adjustments as necessary to maintain a healthy pregnancy.
In conclusion, managing PCOS during pregnancy involves a proactive approach to your health and close collaboration with your healthcare provider. With proper prenatal care, lifestyle adjustments, and monitoring, women with PCOS can have a successful and healthy pregnancy. PCOS is a prediabetic condition so we have to watch out for that
How To Manage Diet If You Are Suffering From PCOS During Pregnancy:
Dr. Ruchi Rai, who is a Dietitian at SRV Hospitals – Goregaon said, “Managing your diet during pregnancy with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) requires a balanced approach to ensure both your health and the baby’s well-being. Firstly, it’s essential to prioritize low glycemic index (GI) foods, such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. These choices help regulate blood sugar levels, which can be particularly important for women with PCOS, as they are at a higher risk of insulin resistance.”
“Another crucial aspect is limiting your consumption of sugars and processed carbohydrates to avoid insulin spikes, thereby promoting better metabolic health throughout pregnancy. Incorporating lean proteins into your diet like lean meats, fish, and plant-based proteins like beans and tofu, will help provide overall nutrition while helping manage weight and blood sugar levels. Healthy fats, sourced from avocados, nuts, and olive oil, should also be included to provide essential fatty acids necessary for both you and your baby’s development,” she further added.
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