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Pregnancy in Diabetes


Diabetes complicates more than 100,000 pregnancies every year. Women with all types of diabetes (Type I, Type II, and gestational) and their infants are at greater risk for a number of different complications. Women who are diabetic and become pregnant face different risks than a woman who develops diabetes during the later stages of pregnancy (gestational diabetes).

Diabetes is complicated by the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. These hormones antagonize and break down insulin; meanwhile the mother's body produces increased amounts of glucose.

High levels of glucose (hyperglycemia) in the mother's body circulate to the fetus via the umbilical cord blood. This occurs throughout the pregnancy, and is especially dangerous during the process of organogenesis (the development of the baby's internal organs). It is at this time that the risk of congenital anomalies is very high.

Pregnancy care for a diabetic woman should begin before she becomes pregnant. It is very important to discuss plans to become pregnant with your health care provider months in advance so that preconception care can be instituted to increase the chances of a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy.

Achieving and maintaining euglycemia (normal blood glucose levels) is the main goal of management for diabetic pregnancies.

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The Medifocus Guide on Pregnancy in Diabetes provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:

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