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December 11, 2000

Family Planning

Question from Rhode Island, USA:

I am 25 weeks pregnant and have diabetes. No one knows if it is pre-existing type�2 or gestational diabetes. I was referred to a high-risk specialist who suggests I have a level 2 ultrasound and a fetal echo test. Can you provide any information on these two tests?

Answer:

The purpose of the ultrasounds is to try and detect any abnormalities in the baby. The fetal echo is a short term for fetal echocardiogram. This is an ultrasound to look specifically at the baby’s heart. If you had diabetes before you became pregnant, then you are at higher risk of abnormalities in the baby. If the diabetes developed after the first eight weeks of pregnancy, then your risk closer to someone who does not have diabetes.

OWJ