Posts Tagged ‘preexisting diabetes’

Thinking about becoming pregnant? Are you worried about your diabetes?

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Diabetes and pregnancyDiabetes can cause problems during pregnancy, such as premature birth, birth defects and miscarriage. But don’t panic; with some planning ahead, you can become as healthy as possible before you become pregnant.

When you eat, your body breaks down sugar and starches from food into glucose to use for energy. Your pancreas (an organ behind your stomach) makes a hormone called insulin that helps your body keep the right amount of glucose in your blood.  When you have diabetes, your body doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use insulin well, so you end up with too much sugar in your blood.

Too much sugar can cause serious health problems, like heart disease, kidney failure and blindness. High blood sugar can be harmful to your baby during the first few weeks of pregnancy when his brain, heart, kidneys and lungs begin to form. It’s really important to get treatment for diabetes to help prevent problems like these.

If you are thinking about becoming pregnant and have diabetes, here are a few tips:

  • Manage your diabetes to get your blood glucose levels in to your target range. Try to get it under control 3-6 months before you start trying to become pregnant.
  • Take a multivitamin that contains at least 400 micrograms of folic acid every day.
  • Talk to your provider about any medications you are taking to make sure that they are OK to continue taking when you do get pregnant. He or she may want to change some medications now, before you get pregnant.
  • Eat healthy foods and keep moving.
  • Get support and guidance. Talk with your provider, a diabetes educator or a dietician about how to manage your diabetes.

Not sure if you are at increased risk of developing diabetes? Read our post to find out.

Remember: If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, now is the time to talk to your doctor about getting as healthy as you can before you conceive. Take small steps now toward a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Have questions? Text or email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

American Diabetes Month

Monday, November 28th, 2011

The rate of diabetes continues to increase. Today, about 1 in 9 adults has diabetes. But, according to the CDC, in the next four decades, the number of U.S. adults with diabetes is estimated to double or triple. That means anywhere from 20 to 33 percent of adults could have the disease.

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Racial and ethnic minority groups are the hardest hit by diabetes and its complications.

Nearly 9 out of 100 women in the United States have diabetes. About 3 out of those 9 don’t know it. It’s very important for all women to see their health provider regularly to watch for this disease and learn how to manage it.

If you have diabetes and are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, your health care provider will want to take extra special care of you. Pregnant women who have diabetes before pregnancy (preexisting diabetes) are considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. If diabetes is not well controlled, a mom and baby could face serious health complications:

  • The woman is more likely to have a miscarriage and stillbirth.
  • The baby is 2 to 4 times more likely to have a serious birth defect than other babies. Heart defects and neural tube defects are more common among babies born to women with diabetes.
  • The baby is likely to be very large (10 pounds or more). This makes vaginal delivery more difficult and puts the baby at risk for injuries during birth.

The time to act is now. Join Healthy People 2020 in support of American Diabetes Month. Organizations and individuals can work together in their community to prevent diabetes and its complications. Learn more and teach others about the dangers associated with diabetes and how to prevent them.

You have the power to prevent and control diabetes. If you already have diabetes, work to lower your risk of serious complications. If you don’t have the disease, learn if you are at risk for type 2 diabetes. To learn more about diabetes and what you can do to prevent it, read the information from the CDC.

Diabetes and pregnancy

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

You may have heard us say it before, but it’s worth saying it again – having a healthy baby starts BEFORE pregnancy! There are so many factors about mom’s health before and during pregnancy that affect how healthy her baby will be. That’s why it’s important for all women to take care of themselves and live a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true for women living with diabetes.

The USA Today published an article last week on this very topic. In fact, nearly 9 out of 100 women in the United States have diabetes. But, about 3 out of those 9 don’t know it. Managing diabetes before pregnancy (often called “preexisting diabetes”) is important to the health of both mom and baby. This is also true for women who develop gestational diabetes (when diabetes develops during pregnancy). If too much glucose (sugar) is in a woman’s blood during early pregnancy, there’s a chance that this can cause birth defects. In later pregnancy, too much glucose could lead to a baby that is too large, born prematurely, born via c-section or have other life-threatening situations.

But there is good news! By learning how to manage your diabetes before and during pregnancy, you can increase the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. Here’s a few things you can do right now:
Visit your health provider regularly before and during pregnancy
• Take a multivitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid
• Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
• With your health provider’s OK, be active and exercise
• Learn more about managing pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabetes.