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December 18, 2000

Family Planning, Genetics and Heredity

Question from the Netherlands:

I am 33 years old and have had diabetes for 31 years. I have just officially been told I am seven and one-half weeks pregnant and am concerned about complications for me and my unborn baby. My average sugars over the past three months have been 5.8 mmol/L [104 mg/dl], and, I have just recently been fitted with an insulin pump to control my sugar levels during the pregnancy. I still have high blood sugars (between 7 and 15 mmol/l [126 and 270 mg/dl]) and incredibly low blood sugar levels (1.9 mmol/l [34 mg/dl]) and am wondering what adverse affects this will have on my unborn child. I am also very concerned about the future for my baby. As I have hereditary diabetes I am wondering whether I will pass the same disease onto my child and what the possibilities of this are.


From: DTeam Staff

It is often difficult to control blood glucose in the early part of pregnancy. Frequent blood testing (before and after each meal and certainly with any symptoms) is often necessary. This along with adjusting the insulin basal rate and/or boluses is the best you can do. Once you are through the first eight to nine weeks, the major risks to the baby are over. You will still have several tests and ultrasounds to evaluate the development of the baby and to look for any abnormalities. Since you came into the pregnancy with good control, then the risks to the baby are reduced. Your child may be at risk of developing diabetes but not absolutely since diabetes can many different causes. Testing can be done after the baby is born to look for some risk factors.