Being pregnant and giving birth is a team effort involving you, your partner, and your family, friends and health professionals.
Your healthcare team
There will be more medical appointments than usual which may feel overwhelming at times. However, these visits are also an opportunity to let your diabetes in pregnancy team know how you are feeling and to discuss any concerns or issues you have.
Your diabetes in pregnancy team are there to help you during the emotional ups and downs you might go through during pregnancy. They are there to listen to your concerns and to help you get the support you need. It is best not to ignore these feelings or to delay seeking help. Looking after your emotional wellbeing is as important as looking after your physical health.
Partners, family and friends
There are many ways in which other people can support you through your pregnancy, the birth and beyond. If you have a partner, initially you may be reluctant to involve them in your diabetes management, particularly if this is something that you have always managed by yourself. However remember that pregnancy is an exciting time for couples and your partner may want to be part of this journey. Sharing your feelings and expressing your needs at this time can give you the reassurance you need.
Family and friends can also be great support people during this time. Talking openly and honestly about your emotions can help you to express your feelings, allow your loved ones to better understand the support you need and help you at each stage of pregnancy and beyond.
Support from other women
Many women find it helpful to hear stories of how other women with diabetes have experienced their pregnancy. Ask your diabetes in pregnancy team if there is a support network or group you can attend to meet other women with diabetes. Some women have even formed support groups in the waiting rooms of diabetes and pregnancy clinics! Other women find online networks, forums and blogs a useful source of information and support.
As a woman with diabetes, pregnancy can be one of the most wonderful yet challenging times of your life. There are many emotions you may experience at this time, but you are not alone. Talk to your partner, family and friends about how you are feeling and ask your health professionals about accessing the support you need for your emotional wellbeing.
Seek out counselling services if you need additional support. Diabetes Counselling Online offers peer support and with a focus on wellbeing. If you need to talk to someone immediately contact Beyond Blue Support Service on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline 13 11 14.