Keeping your blood sugar under control is important for anyone with type 2 diabetes. And if you're pregnant, it becomes even more important -- uncontrolled blood sugar increases your risk of birth defects, early miscarriage, and other problems. Some diabetes medications are safe to take during pregnancy, while others need to be avoided. Your healthcare provider can advise you on the best options for your particular situation.
Does Type 2 Diabetes Affect Pregnancy?
If you have type 2 diabetes and are pregnant or want to become pregnant, there are few things to keep in mind -- both for your health as well as your baby's. Keep reading this article to learn about issues to consider when becoming pregnant.
Keep in mind that the risks associated with type 2 diabetes during pregnancy can be very scary. The great news is that, in general, these risks can be reduced by taking care of yourself.
Controlling Blood Sugar
Controlling your blood sugar is key in type 2 diabetes, and it becomes even more important when you become pregnant. Your baby's organs are formed during the first two months of pregnancy. Studies show that if your blood sugar is uncontrolled during this time, there is a chance of affecting the growing organs, leading to birth defects of the heart, spine, or brain. One study reported that women with poorly controlled diabetes have an 11-fold greater risk of birth defects and double the risk of early miscarriages.
Uncontrolled blood sugar throughout the pregnancy can also lead to babies being very big. The extra blood sugar feeds the baby, making them grow very large. This can be a problem when it comes time for delivery. The baby could be injured during birth, or a cesarean section may be necessary to protect the baby, making the healing time for the mother much longer.
American Diabetes Association: Standards of medical care in diabetes - 2013. Diabetes Care 2013;36(1).
Barrs VA, Repke JT. Patient information: Care during pregnancy for women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In: UpToDate, Lockwood CJ (Ed), Nathan DM (Ed), UpToDate, Waltham, MA, 2013.
Collatrella A, Loguercio V, Mattei L, et al. Hypertension in diabetic pregnancy: Impact and long term outlook. Best practice and research clinical endocrinology and metabolism 2010;24(4):635-651.
Dunne F, Brydon P, Smith K, Gee H. Pregnancy in women with diabetes: 12 years outcome data 1990-2002. Diabetic Medicine 2003;20(9):734-738.
Global guidelines: Diabetes and Pregnancy (n.d.). International Diabetes Foundation Web site. Available at: http://www.idf.org/webdata/docs/Pregnancy_EN_RTP.pdf. Accessed November 13, 2013.
Kitzmiller JL, Block JM, Brown FM et al. Managing preexisting diabetes for pregnancy: Summary of evidence and consensus recommendations for care. Diabetes Care 2008;31(5):1060?1079.
McCoy S, Baldwin K. Pharmacotherapeutic options for the treatment of preeclampsia. American journal of health system pharmacy 2009;66(4):337-344.
Pregnancy: Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes in Pregnancy (10/5/12). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/diabetes-types.html. Accessed November 13, 2013.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind.
Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click