Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Type 2 Diabetes Threatens Pregnancy

Birth Defects, Infant Deaths Higher for Women With Type 2 Diabetes

Control Is Critical continued...

There were four fetal or newborn deaths and four major birth defects among the 61 women, compared with no deaths and no major birth defects among the type 2 diabetes group who gave birth in the 1980s.

The rate of preterm deliveries was twice as high in the former group, and these women also tended to be heavier and older than the women with type 2 who gave birth in 1980.

The findings are published in the February issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

Pregnancies Not Planned

Clausen says the women with type 2 diabetes in the study tended to seek medical care during pregnancy later than women with type 1, with more than half waiting until the later parts of their pregnancy to see an obstetrician.

She added that women with type 1 diabetes are much more likely to plan their pregnancies and get prepregnancy care than women with type 2 diabetes.

Only 5% of the women with type 2 diabetes in the study had planned pregnancies. Because birth defects generally develop at the time a woman first becomes pregnant or during the first trimester, Clausen says it is critical that all women with diabetes have their disease under control before getting pregnant.

"One of the best things a woman with diabetes can do to minimize the potential risk is to achieve good metabolic control before conception," she says.

Endocrinologist Robert Rizza, MD, who is president-elect of the American Diabetes Association, agrees.

"Historically, women didn't get type 2 diabetes until they were beyond their childbearing years, but that has changed," he tells WebMD. "That's why it is critical that younger women with type 2 diabetes control their blood pressure and blood (sugar) and try to get their weight under control."

Obstetrician Donald Coustan, MD, says type 2 diabetes tends to be easier to control during pregnancy than type 1.

"If a pregnant woman has undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, it makes sense that they might have a poorer outcome, but if we know about it we usually treat it," he tells WebMD.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
jennie brand miller

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner