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Diabetes in pregnancy: the major points reviewed


Wrapping up on our discussion about diabetes in pregnancy, we should review some of the major points while they are still fresh in our minds. Agreed?{{more}}

1) If you have pre-existing diabetes, BEFORE you get pregnant, you should speak with your doctor about making sure you are in the best shape possible, meaning glucose levels in good range BEFORE you start trying to get pregnant. You should aim for as close to a hemoglobin A1C of seven per cent or less before you get pregnant. The higher you are above this, the more likely you are to have complications during your pregnancy and have a baby that suffers from birth defects.

2) If you have had diabetes during a pregnancy in the past, you are at a higher risk of having it happen again, so be doubly sure that you are at a healthy weight when you are trying to get pregnant, and make sure your doctor knows about that prior history. You will need close monitoring and earlier testing during future pregnancies to ensure any repeat diabetes diagnoses are caught early in the pregnancy.

3) Be sure to keep up with ALL appointments with your obstetrician and general medical doctor during your pregnancy.

4) DO NOT over – eat!!! Pregnancy is not a time to gain excessive amounts of weight, especially if you have diabetes. Talk with your doctor about a healthy target weight gain and try to stay as close to that as possible. Gaining too much extra weight is unhealthy for your pregnancy, and for after delivery as well.

5) Be sure to meet with a nutritionist if you are diagnosed with diabetes during or before your pregnancy. There are some pregnancy-specific concerns that need to be taken into account when adjusting your meal/dietary habits.

6) If you are started on medications for your blood sugars during pregnancy, BE SURE to monitor your sugars closely and stay in close contact with your doctor. This is one of the least appropriate times to decide to ignore your doctor’s advice. Remember: high blood sugars in pregnancy can cause all kinds of complications, including a large baby, increased birth defects, low blood sugars in your baby after delivery, premature delivery etc.

7) FOLLOW UP after delivery! The effects of gestational diabetes can linger for years, and you have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes in those ensuing years. DO NOT be caught off guard when you suddenly find out years later that you have had diabetes for some time since your pregnancy!

Above all, keep in mind that this will affect both your and your baby’s health. By taking good care of yourself, which may include taking medication, you will also take care of your baby. Congratulations on your pregnancies! And again, take care.

Anita Ramsetty, MD [email protected]

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227