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September 16, 1999

Gestational Diabetes

Question from South Carolina, USA:

I am 24 year old and diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 31 weeks (fasting 109, 1 hour 258, 2 hour 148, 3 hour 61). I am now 34 weeks. The local hospital does not have a neonatal ICU. My mother is a ER RN and a diabetic herself (type 2). She recommends I should ask my doctor for a referral to the closest hospital with a neonatal ICU. I found out I was diabetic at 31 weeks and I do not monitor my glucose daily although I think my diet is working well. (It is checked every two weeks, which was 109 fasting and 116 two hour last week.) Considering it is a high risk pregnancy, shouldn’t my baby be born in a hospital that is prepared for situations like mine?


From: DTeam Staff

Find out from the nursery at your hospital how small a baby they can manage, and if they have staff experienced in taking care of babies of diabetic mothers. Then decide if you should deliver at a hospital with more specialized services.

Additional comments from Dr. Quick:

Small hospitals may have excellent systems set up for air evacuation of neonates to nearby medical centers or pediatric hospitals. They may even have specialized “staff privileges” for neonatologists from nearby hospitals, just to help out with this sort of thing.

Find out exactly what is available at your local hospital.