An Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Abosede Lewu, on Sunday called for preconception care to prevent and manage diabetes which could lead to reproductive challenges, delay in getting pregnant and abnormalities in babies.
Lewu, Team lead at Girlsaide Initiative and Convener, Keep All Mothers Alive (KAMA) Project, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to commemorate, “Diabetes Awareness Week 2020”.
NAN reports that Diabetes Awareness Week is marked from June 8 to June 14 every year to raise awareness about the disease.
According to Lewu, Diabetes is associated with many reproductive challenges, but with prevention, early detection and interventions, the outcome improves.
“Women that have poorly controlled diabetes may experience delay in getting pregnant.
“This is because hyperglycaemia, excess level of sugar in the blood can prevent fertilisation and implantation process needed to get pregnant.
“This hyperglycaemia causes oxidative stress, damage to and premature death of cells leading to congenital abnormalities in babies and miscarriages.
“The excess level of insulin also leads to accelerated growth causing big or macrosomic babies and delayed lung maturation of babies.
“It can cause late stillbirths as well as injury to mother and baby at delivery.
“After birth, the babies can experience asphyxia, low sugar, low micronutrients and are at risk of heart diseases.
“Through a process called foetal programming, the child is now at risk of obesity and developing diabetes in future,” she said.
Lewu said that preconception care should be a must as it could prevent, identify and treat medical conditions like diabetes mellitus before pregnancy, thereby improving the reproductive outcomes.
According to her, Diabetes is preventable and the first step to preventing type 2 Diabetes is knowing your risk level.
“Women should endeavour to go for blood sugar test and consult your healthcare practitioner to know your numbers.
“What is your Body Mass Index (BMI)? Are you overweight or obese? Does any of your parents or siblings have diabetes?, ” she said.