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Diabetes Health Center

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Diabetes and Pregnancy

Women who have diabetes before they get pregnant have special health concerns. In addition to the new demands that a pregnancy will put on your body, it will also affect your blood sugar levels and diabetes medications.

If you're thinking about having a baby, take steps to lessen the risks for both you and your child.

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By the Numbers: Prediabetes

Total health care costs for diabetes in the U.S.: $218 billion. Estimated number of people in the U.S. who have prediabetes: 79 million. Total health care costs to cover prediabetes: $25 billion. Reduced risk of developing diabetes over three years if you follow a healthy food and exercise program: 58%. Length of time diabetes diagnosis may be delayed through lifestyle or medication intervention: up to 10 years. Reduced risk of developing diabetes over three years if...

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Get Ready

A pre-conception counseling appointment will help you be physically and emotionally prepared for pregnancy.

Meet with your doctor to find out if your diabetes is controlled well enough for you to stop your birth control method. A blood test called the glycosylated hemoglobin test (HbA1c, or just A1c) can show how well it's been going over the past 8 to 12 weeks.

Other medical tests can help prevent complications during pregnancy:

Blood Sugar Control

High blood sugar levels early in the pregnancy (before 13 weeks) can cause birth defects. They also can increase the risks of miscarriage and diabetes-related complications.

But many women don't know they're pregnant until the baby has been growing for 2 to 4 weeks. That's why you should have good control of your blood sugar before you start trying to conceive.

Keep blood glucose levels within the ideal range:

  • 70 to 100 mg/dL before meals
  • Less than 120 mg/dL 2 hours after eating
  • 100-140 mg/dL before your bedtime snackĀ 

Use your meals, exercise, and diabetes medications to keep a healthy balance.

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