Pregnancy and diabetes

Somali: Uurka iyo sonkorowga

Preparing for pregnancy

Preparing for a healthy pregnancy begins with excellent care of your diabetes before you conceive. Good blood glucose control 3 to 6 months before conception helps promote fertility and helps prevent birth defects or chances of a miscarriage.

Don't stop using birth control until your diabetes is in good control. Good control is measured by two things:

  • a near-normal A1c level (ideally at or around 6)
  • near-normal blood glucose levels fasting, before meal(s) and 2 hours after meal(s)

Insulin is the medicine that is used to control blood glucose during pregnancy. If you are taking diabetes pills and are planning a pregnancy, talk with your health care provider before you stop taking your birth control.

Your health care provider will tell you if and when you must stop taking your diabetes pills. You will also make a plan together about when you will start taking insulin.

If you are on any other medicines, be sure to check with your health care provider to see if they are safe to use during pregnancy.

Take a multivitamin that contains folic acid before and during pregnancy.

Planning for your pregnancy

The following needs to be done for good blood glucose control before pregnancy.

  • Meet with your health care provider or diabetes educators (nurse and dietitian) to get a pregnancy care plan in place.
  • A pregnancy and diabetes care plan often includes:
    • a meal plan to improve blood glucose control and to provide proper nutrition
    • a schedule for when to test your blood glucose
    • blood glucose goals
    • physical activity plan
    • diabetes medicine checks and change in insulin as needed.
  • If you need, your health care provider can give you information on how to quit smoking and how to avoid alcohol.

Extra visits with members of your health care team are essential for a successful pregnancy. You and your partner should talk about how these extra visits will affect your lives and how to plan for these changes.

Day-to-day tasks of meal planning, physical activity, blood glucose monitoring and insulin use will take extra time and commitment on your part. It will also likely result in added costs.

Talk with your partner about how these changes will affect your lives and how you can work together to help maintain good control of your diabetes during your pregnancy.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Basic Skills for Living with Diabetes, sixth edition
First Published: 11/27/2006
Last Reviewed: 01/09/2015

Tip

If you have not prepared for pregnancy and you become pregnant, it is important that you call your health care provider to make an appointment as soon as you think you are pregnant. This will allow you to work with your health care provider to make the changes needed to help ensure a healthy, safe pregnancy.