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Precautions Pregnant Women with PCOS need to take

Pregnancy can be an overwhelming thing to happen to women with PCOS and they start to feel more of a woman probably because of other symptoms that women with PCOS often tend to have like male pattern hair loss, excess hair, and male-like figure. And thus, they feel a lot more secure when they figure out they are pregnant. But some women think of it as the end of their struggle and start to be more lenient about their diet and lifestyle. But what women with PCOS do not realize is that pregnancy is comparatively easier than what lies ahead.

Women with PCOS have a lot of complications or at least are more prone to these complications and thus require close monitoring when it comes to health. Any neglect will not only cause risk to the baby but also the mother. Women with PCOS have very high chances of suffering from gestational diabetes millets, macrosomia, pregnancy-induced hypertension, hypothyroidism, preeclampsia, miscarriage, and preterm labor or delivery of the baby.

Thus, the nine months can be pretty challenging and this can also cause various hormonal fluctuations in the body leading to greater risk. You see, PCOS is an endocrinal disorder that causes your ovaries to secrete more androgens or male sex hormones in the body and any exposure to the baby can cause the risk of miscarriage and placental abruption.

Doctors advise a strict diet planned by the dietician, exercise under the supervision of an instructor, and regular checkups along with medications during this time and you may have to go through various tests just to ensure that the fetal development is happening at a suitable place without any complications.

Women with PCOS have most of their body weight in the midsection and this means that they may not show until the second trimester which is very late as compared to a pregnant woman without PCOS. This makes them more conscious and they start to intake more calories than required to gain some belly weight which would help them to show and this is the worst you can do to yourself during pregnancy if you have PCOS.

Diet to follow in pregnancy:

The diet to follow in pregnancy is pretty much the same as what would have been recommended to you at the time when you were diagnosed with PCOS. However, it is advised that you follow this diet on a stricter basis as these are essential not only for you but will also contribute to fetal development. Nutrition deficiency can cause miscarriage and also underdevelopment of the organs of the baby.

High fiber food:

As already mentioned in the previous articles, high-fiber food is highly effective when it comes to the regulation of blood sugar levels and also ensures appetite control. This also helps regulate insulin levels in the body by ensuring slow digestion.

Protein-rich food:

A protein-rich diet is highly important during pregnancy as it aids the healthy development of the fetus. A good quality plant and animal-based protein balance are very beneficial. Protein from plants include lentils, legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds while on the other hand animal proteins like grass-fed organic meat, organ meats, oily fish, etc are very important because they also are rich in iron.

Complex carbohydrates:

Most women skip carbohydrates during pregnancy from the fear of weight gain and gestational diabetes Miletus, but there is currently no evidence that limiting carbohydrates would help prevent gestational diabetes, Miletus. Women with PCOS should eat complex carbohydrates that are slow to break thus controlling the insulin level and regulation of insulin level is very important for controlling the androgens in the body. Low glycemic index food is also advised that include whole wheat, wheat flour, brown rice, healthy fruits with skin, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, zucchini, etc.

Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K along with healthy fats, Omega 3, are very helpful in fetal development. Women during pregnancy highly benefit from coconut oil, coconut cream, ghee, seeds, etc. Incorporating inflammatory food in the diet is also important to keep the body free from inflammation that can harm mental health also.

Taking the right supplements during pregnancy especially if you have PCOS are vital like taking prenatal vitamins to make up for any nutritional gap created from the diet, vitamin D which will be helpful in the growth of the baby but also help deal with post-natal depression, omega 3 to help with inflammation and Myo-Inositol which would increase insulin sensitivity in the body and also decrease anxiety. If you already take insulin pumps before pregnancy, it would be advisable that you continue with it during the pregnancy too but would not be good if you start using insulin pumps during the pregnancy.

Women with PCOS would need to be screened for all-over health for the mother and the baby because you never know what complications may arise. The most important ones to deal with and prevent are:

Gestational diabetes:

Women generally are tested for it through oral glucose tolerance after 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy but if you have PCOS, you need to get it screened and have the oral glucose tolerance test after about 20 weeks. You must take frequent meals, 3 major meals, and 2 to 4 snacks, during the entire day which help a lot with gestational diabetes, Miletus.


Hypothyroidism is generally diagnosed during the prenatal period. During this time, you must be careful and test for it as it can lead to loss of pregnancy, placental abruption, stillbirth, postpartum hemorrhage, preterm delivery, low IQ in infants, and low birth weight.

Pregnancy Induced Hypertension:

Pregnancy-induced hypertension is another complication women with PCOS could go through and this is also very dangerous as it can lead to preeclampsia and eclampsia. They are generally diagnosed 20 weeks after pregnancy and are life-threatening for both the baby and the mother. Preeclampsia can lead to organ failure and eclampsia is seizures due to hypertension. These patients usually need to have c-section delivery because of the risk to life and the babies have to spend time in the NICU. Women who have hypertension tend to show symptoms of high BP since the first months or the first trimester of pregnancy.

So, the bottom line is that it is quite a rocky terrain after pregnancy for women with PCOS and they have to be extra careful and endure it all to fulfill their dream of a family. Even after so many precautions, these women tend to pass on their disorder to their babies if they are girls, so this continues in the family from the mother to another baby to their baby and the cycle goes on. Most people who do not know this connection think how their ovaries can be related to the problems their children are facing but they do not know the girls born out of these mothers have increased enzymes that would later be responsible for the entire cycle of symptoms their mother faced. But all of these can be overcome and there are chances of conceiving a healthy baby while still being healthy though you would again need to work a lot of post-pregnancy. It sure is hard for women with PCOS but you would feel that all of the hard work was worth it.

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