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November 15, 2001

Family Planning, Type 2

Question from Maryland, USA:

I am eleven and a half weeks pregnant, was diagnosed with type�2 diabetes about eight months ago, and my hemoglobin A1c when I found out I was pregnant was 8.5%. My doctor didn’t seem too concerned at the time, nor was the obstetrician I recently visited, but my own women’s intuition led me to call an endocrinologist. who is new and doesn’t have all the answers.

Please help me. How much does can this affect my child? I know it can cause heart defects, but is this level so horrifically high as to significantly raise the birth defect probability? Where do I stand? What do you suggest for me to find out exactly what (if any) birth defects the baby may have?


From: DTeam Staff

Your hemoglobin A1c is elevated which does increase the risk of fetal abnormalities to about 14%. The risk of major fetal malformations in the general population is about 1-2%.

The risk of the abdominal x-ray is minimal. However, it will worthwhile consulting with a physician who specializes in pregnancy and diabetes. There are several ways to evaluate the fetus to look for abnormalities: maternal blood testing and ultrasound. Ask your doctor about the plan for fetal evaluation.