Diabetes and pregnancy

Diabetes and pregnancy

This condition happens when your body is unable to use blood sugar, or glucose, correctly. Having diabetes during pregnancy can result in excessive growth of the baby, increasing the chances that the baby will be more difficult to deliver and also the chances of cesarean delivery. If your blood sugar is not well controlled your baby is also more likely to have very low blood sugar after delivery. Also, as the baby grows up, he or she is also more likely to have problems with handling sugar and will have a higher chance of being overweight and developing heart disease and diabetes. Women with diabetes are also more likely to develop high blood pressure and other complications themselves.

Pregnant women with diabetes may be able to control it by following a healthy meal plan and getting regular physical activity. Many obstetric-care providers refer their patients to Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialists to help with diabetes management during pregnancy. This is especially important if you have diabetes that existed before the pregnancy began.

If you take insulin or other medications, your Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist will help adjust the doses while you’re pregnant. It’s important to follow your doctor’s directions closely, and to check your blood sugar frequently in order to keep it from getting too low or too high. Learn more at the March of Dimes website. 

Back to Maternal Fetal Medicine page.