Diabetes and Pregnancy – Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a disease state that is complicated by the hormonal changes of pregnancy. Women with Type 1 DM, Type 2 DM, or Pre-diabetes should be seen by a specialist as soon as a pregnancy is confirmed.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as any degree of glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. It does not exclude the possibility that unrecognized glucose intolerance may have existed before or began simultaneously with the pregnancy. All pregnant women should be screened for GDM by their Obstetrician between 24-28 weeks. Women with a higher risk for GDM should be screened at their first prenatal visit and then again at the standard time if they passed the early screen.
A pregnant woman with pre-existing diabetes or GDM is encouraged to meet with a certified diabetes educator (CDE) for education and management of their diabetes throughout the pregnancy. This is usually a Registered Nurse (RN) or Registered Dietitian (RD) that specializes in nutrition intervention for the care of diabetes.
The consultation includes education on the diagnosis and progression of diabetes as well as the potential risks to both mother and child. Patients are taught how to monitor their blood glucose with a personal glucometer and are provided an individualized meal plan. Important topics such as healthful eating for pregnancy, exercise, and managing weight gain is also covered.
Patients are provided the necessary tools to help manage their diabetes along with weekly review and feedback from the diabetes team. If diet and exercise are not enough to control blood glucose for the entire pregnancy, medication may be added to the care plan and reassessed routinely to achieve optimal outcomes.
Our diabetes team is here to offer continuing education and support to patients with diabetes from conception to delivery and everything in between.