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January 26, 2003

Family Planning

Question from Brooklyn, New York, USA:

I am 28 years old, I have type 2 diabetes, and I am planning pregnancy. I believe my glucose control is good but not excellent because it is difficult to monitor myself at work so I sometimes let my sugars go into the high 100s mg/dl [5.6 mmol/L] to 200mg/dl [11.1 mmol/L] because I can't function with low sugars. What are the common problems of the newborns born to mothers with diabetes who are not able to have achieve excellent control?


The key to reducing risk during a pregnancy with diabetes is good glucose control particularly prior to conception and during the first 8-10 weeks when the fetus is undergoing organ development. Continued good control will reduce the risk of excessive fetal growth and neonatal hypoglycemia at delivery. Thus, I would suggest working with your diabetologist to bring your blood sugar values more into the normal range. In addition, you should start a folic acid supplement (at least 4 mg per day) prior to conception.


[Editor’s comment: See Planning a pregnancy , at the Diabetes Monitor, for some additional thoughts.