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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?

Answer:

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.

OWJ

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

WWQ]