Ominous Rise in Pre-Pregnancy Diabetes
Diabetes Is Linked to Miscarriage and Birth Defects
WebMD News Archive
That daughter, now 4 months old, is perfectly healthy -- which means Kaplan
dodged a bullet, says Celia Dominguez, MD, assistant professor of gynecology
and obstetrics at Atlanta's Emory University.
"Whether it's type 1 or type 2 diabetes, when it is not well controlled,
even if the baby does make it there is a high risk of anomalies, ranging from
'mermaid' babies without bottom limbs to all kinds of other problems,"
Dominguez tells WebMD. "If mother's diabetes is not diagnosed or in poor
control, it can mean significant handicap to the child."
Although Lawrence's study did not distinguish between type 1 and type 2
diabetes, both she and Dominguez believe the increase in prepregnancy diabetes
is due to a surge in obesity-linked type 2 diabetes.
Dominguez says several trends are crashing together: growing obesity, a
delay in pregnancy, and a tendency for everyone to get heavier as they get
"We are literally now changing the face of pregnancy to encompass a
little more high risk," she says. "And with that increase in maternal
weight unfortunately come other problems like
high blood pressure. So do I see more pregnant women with type 2 diabetes
than I did two decades ago? Yes."
Diabetes Control Important Even If No Pregnancy Planned
Half of all pregnancies are unplanned, Lawrence says. This means that
sexually active women of childbearing age should keep their diabetes under
tight control even if they aren't currently planning to have a baby.
Here are some tips from Kaiser Permanente.
Even if you aren't pregnant:
- Get screened for diabetes with a fasting blood sugar test or the glucose tolerance
- If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, work with your health care
professional to get your blood sugar under control.
- If you have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes and are overweight, work on
reducing your weight before becoming pregnant.
If you are pregnant:
- Discuss screening for gestational diabetes with your doctor. Some women
might need to be screened at the beginning of their pregnancy and others
between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
- If you are pregnant with diabetes, work with your provider on reducing your
blood sugar to the goal range and establish a routine of
walking. Always talk with your doctor before you start exercising.
giving birth, women with gestational diabetes should have their blood sugar
level tested to make sure it returns to normal.