Preparing for Pregnancy with Diabetes

Gestational diabetes poses many risks to mothers and unborn babies

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) For women with diabetes, pregnancy can be an especially stressful time. That's why it is important for these mothers to learn how to keep both themselves and their babies healthy.

The American Diabetes Association has a new guide to help mothers with type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes have healthy pregnancies. The guide gives mothers important advice on how to avoid health risks caused by diabetes.

"Expecting mothers with diabetes should learn how their disease affects pregnancy."

According to the American Diabetes Association, about 135,000 women get gestational diabetes (diabetes diagnosed during pregnancy) each year in the United States. On top of that, there are many women who are planning a pregnancy and already have diabetes.

These women and their babies face many risks, including miscarriages, preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine), birth defects, and overweight babies that will have their own set of health problems.

The American Diabetes Association's new guide - called Diabetes & Pregnancy: A Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy for Women Who Have Type 1, Type 2, or Gestational Diabetes - includes all the information a woman with diabetes needs to plan for and to have a healthy baby. It explains meal planning, exercise, insulin treatment, and how to keep track of the disease.

The guide also contains other information about pregnancy that is not necessarily related to diabetes. For example, it talks about birth control, the different stages of an unborn baby's development, and the tests that may be used during pregnancy and upon delivery.

There are various factors that can increase a woman's risk of getting diabetes during pregnancy. These factors include being 35 years or older, having a close family member with diabetes, being overweight or obese, or having complications during a pregnancy in the past.

Research also has shown that women who are African American, Latina, Pacific Islander, Native American, or Asian have a higher risk of gestational diabetes.

Diabetes & Pregnancy - which was edited by David A. Sacks, M.D., who directed the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Bellflower, CA for more than 30 years - contains all the information that women with diabetes may need to prepare for pregnancy.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
July 21, 2011
Last Updated:
July 24, 2011