To reduce risks for both herself and her child, a woman with diabetes should focus on proper management of the condition.
“The best action a woman with pre-existing diabetes can take is to have her blood sugar levels well controlled,” says Dr. Selander. “A healthy diet and exercise are key to achieving this, along with medical management, as appropriate. Maintaining a healthy body weight is also important because many cases of Type 2 diabetes are associated with obesity.”
It’s important for all women, but especially those with diabetes, to receive proper prenatal care from an OB-GYN or other qualified health care professional, Dr. Selander says. An OB-GYN can help develop a plan that’s right for each mother and baby.
“All the risks and poor outcomes associated with diabetes during pregnancy are directly related to how controlled the mother’s blood glucose levels are,” she says. “Well-controlled blood sugar kept at normal levels decrease the risks of every possible poor outcome.
“On the other hand, persistently elevated blood glucose levels that are poorly controlled increase the chances for adverse outcomes significantly. This is why it’s essential that patients with diabetes follow the dietary and medical regimens set by the woman’s care team.”