Dr. K Vamsikrishna, MD, DM : Seven Hills Hospital
Managing blood sugar levels is essential in people with diabetes as they are at risk of developing severe complications of COVID-19. But it is crucial to control blood sugar levels in pregnant women having diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Did you know that pregnant women are at an elevated risk of contracting the highly contagious coronavirus than other people? But have you ever wondered why pregnant women are at risk of getting infected with the virulent coronavirus?
Pregnant women are at increased risk of developing COVID-19 because the anatomical structure of the respiratory system gets changed during pregnancy. This makes it easy for the coronavirus to get inhaled by pregnant women. Also, the change in hormone levels during pregnancy weakens the immune system, thus making pregnant women susceptible to infection.
How to take care of pregnant women with diabetes during the pandemic?
The rampant increase in the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in India has left everyone worried. The mutated and highly contagious strain of coronavirus has become one of the major causes of death in our country. Keeping coronavirus in mind, the doctors even have reduced the number of prenatal check-ups and post-natal check-ups in women with diabetes.
I have seen in my practice that many pregnant women with diabetes are under the constant stress of getting infected with the virus. But does stress help them? No, stress worsens their condition by raising blood glucose levels.
How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women with diabetes?
COVID-19 can exhibit mild to severe symptoms in pregnant women with diabetes. The symptoms usually exhibited include:
- Shortness of breath
- Insomnia/ difficulty falling asleep
Fever is a common symptom in people who get infected with COVID-19. But studies show that maternal fever during the initial stage of pregnancy can cause congenital abnormalities.
Pregnant women with diabetes who develop viral pneumonia are at higher risk of preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, and perinatal mortality. 
How to manage pregnant women having diabetes with COVID-19?
If a pregnant woman with diabetes gets infected with COVID-19, they must follow some tips that include:
- Eat small portions of a protein-rich diet. Include green leafy vegetables and whole-grain food in your diet. Avoid eating packaged food.
- Pregnant women should prevent cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol during their pregnancy.
- Pregnant women are likely to develop depression. The family must take care that pregnant women with diabetes stay happy. Pregnant women with diabetes and COVID-19 must not take any stress.
- Pregnant women with diabetes and COVID-19 must take medicines as advised by the doctor.
To prevent infection, pregnant women with Diabetes must avoid going outdoors in this pandemic situation. If they get infected with the COVID-19 virus, they must stay positive and follow all the advice given by the doctor. With positivity, let us fight and defeat this virus.