Psychological and psychiatric input are key elements in effectively managing pregnancy and diabetes. When a woman has diabetes, she has to take on the challenge of keeping her blood glucose levels as near to target as possible, for the health of the growing fetus. If a woman also has to deal with psychiatric disorders keeping within targets is much more difficult. Depression is the most common disorder and will have a huge impact on how well the woman can function. Kozhimannil (2009) from Harvard Medical School noted that pregnant women and new mothers had nearly twice the incidence of depression as non-diabetic women who were pregnant or had just given birth.
The same applies to other psychiatric conditions and diabetes. It is worth noting what research has uncovered in this regard.
While it is rare for women to experience first-onset psychoses during pregnancy, relapse rates are high for women previously diagnosed with some form of psychosis.
Those with Bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia appear to experience relief from symptoms during pregnancy, but the risk of relapse in the postpartum period is high.
Women who have pre-existing panic disorder will most likely continue to have symptoms during pregnancy.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Several reports suggest that women may have an increased risk of the onset of OCD during pregnancy and the postpartum period. In one study of 109 women with diagnosed OCD, 39% of the participants reported that their OCD began during pregnancy. The prevalence of eating disorders in pregnant women is approximately 4.9%. Obesity and starvation (anorexia nervosa) have negative consequences for the mother and the baby and for the diabetes.
These psychiatric conditions are often under-diagnosed because they are thought of as mere hormonal changes and they are also undertreated because while there are safe medications to be had, doctors fear the potential harmful effects of medication on the growing fetus.