Women who have pregnancy PCOS (also referred to as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Polycystic Ovarian Disease, or Polycystic Ovary Disease) may experience more health problems than most healthy pregnant women.
Pregnancy & PCOS Health Risks
Some of the health risks pregnant women who have PCOS are at risk of getting include:
- gestational diabetes
- pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
- premature delivery
Because these health risks can become serious problems (that can put both the mother’s and the baby’s life at risk), it is important for pregnant women who have PCOS to make the necessary changes to their diet, fitness, and lifestyle to reverse the effects of PCOS disease and its underlying cause of insulin resistance.
Women who have been diagnosed with having PCOS before pregnancy should be screened for gestational diabetes, abnormal glucose, pre-eclampsia, and high blood pressure. They should be referred to specialists if test results indicate abnormalities. Pregnant women who have PCOS also need to be closely monitored for potential miscarriages and premature deliveries.
Pregnancy & PCOS Lifestyle Improvements
If you are pregnant and have been diagnosed with PCOS, you will need to improve your overall diet, increase your amount of exercise, and reduce your stress levels to reduce health risks to you and your baby during pregnancy.
Your health care provider might prescribe required vitamins and mineral supplements, and an anti-diabetic drug called Metformin, as well as a healthy diet and exercise program for you to follow while you are pregnant.
Pregnancy & PCOS Diet Improvements
Because an underlying cause of PCOS is insulin resistance, your health care provider will recommend a diet that includes foods with low glycemic indexes that decrease the body’s insulin resistance. It will be important for you to avoid foods that have high glycemic indexes, such as refined sugar and processed carbohydrates.
Sweets, soft drinks, and processed carbohydrates found in white bread and white rice should all be avoided if you have PCOS. Food with high glycemic indexes are known to raise blood sugar levels and cause the body to secrete excess insulin, which can increase the health risks during pregnancy. You will need to replace foods that have high glycemic indexes with foods that have lower glycemic indexes such as whole grain breads, pastas, and rice.
It is also recommended that you eat small portions of low glycemic carbohydrates with proteins or healthy fats throughout the day instead of in large portions without proteins or fats. This will help manage your blood sugar levels and decrease your insulin levels.
Pregnancy & PCOS Exercise Recommendations
It is also recommended that pregnant women who have PCOS exercise regularly. Low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and yoga will help to regulate your blood pressure and reduce your stress levels, resulting in reduced health risks from PCOS.
With healthy changes to your diet, exercise routine, and lifestyle, you will improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.