Talk to your doctor if you have
type 1 or
type 2 diabetes and are planning to get pregnant. To make sure
that both you and your baby stay healthy, you
may need to fine-tune your diabetes care before you get pregnant.
If you have diabetes and want to get pregnant, the
most important thing you can do is to get your blood sugar in
your target range. This can help
prevent miscarriages and birth defects in your baby and can help keep you
Check your blood sugar often, so you will know if your
blood sugar is under control.
Get regular exercise, and eat healthy
foods. This can keep you at a healthy weight or help you lose weight, if you need to, before you
take medicine, including
over-the-counter medicine, talk to your doctor to see
if you need to stop or change it before you get pregnant.
smoke, talk to your doctor about getting help to quit. Smoking can harm your
baby and increases the chances that you will have problems from
Have your doctor check for problems from diabetes, such
as eye or kidney disease. These problems can get worse during pregnancy.
You play a major role in managing your diabetes. Work with your
doctor to keep your blood sugar as close to your target
range as possible before you get pregnant. To do this:
Eat a balanced diet. And if you are
overweight, try to cut calories in your diet to lose some weight before you get
pregnant. Losing as little as 10 to 20 pounds can improve your blood sugar
levels. There are many ways to manage how much and when you eat. Your doctor, a
diabetes educator, or a dietitian can help you find a plan that works for you.
Exercise regularly. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most,
preferably all, days of the week. Exercise helps control your blood sugar by
making your body use glucose for energy during and after activity. It also
helps you stay at a healthy weight; lower
high cholesterol; raise
HDL, or good, cholesterol; and lower
high blood pressure. Walking, running, biking, and
swimming are good activities for people with diabetes. Talk to your doctor
about starting a
safe exercise program.
Take your medicine or
insulin if prescribed, but let your doctor know that you are planning to get
pregnant. Also let your doctor know about any other medicines you take,
including over-the-counter medicine, to see if you need to make any changes
before you get pregnant.
Check your blood sugar levels regularly,
as advised by your doctor. This will help you figure out how medicine,
exercise, and food affect your blood sugar.
If you have high blood pressure, check with your doctor before getting pregnant, if possible. Blood pressure goals may be lower during pregnancy. And many medicines for high blood pressure are unsafe for a developing fetus.
It is also important to take folic acid supplements before
and during your pregnancy. This may help prevent neural tube defects in the
If you smoke, talk to your doctor about getting help to
quit. Smoking can harm your baby and increases the chances that you will have
problems from diabetes.
Before you start trying to get pregnant,
have your doctor check for problems from diabetes, such as eye or kidney
disease. These problems can get worse during pregnancy.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.