Diabetes in pregnancy can cause serious problems if uncontrolled. However, if you have pre-existing (type 1 or 2 diabetes) or have gestational diabetes, there’s no reason to be afraid. The key to maintaining a complication-free pregnancy is to obtain tight control of your blood sugar. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, make sure you are as healthy as possible before pregnancy. If you have high blood pressure in addition to diabetes, make sure your blood pressure is normal. Your hemoglobin A1C value (the value that tells doctors how controlled your diabetes is) should be <7% (ideally 6%) before pregnancy. You should also start prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements prior to pregnancy to reduce your risk of having a baby with birth defects.
If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, that means that you failed your glucose challenge test… you know, that orange tang or cherry flavored juice you had to drink at 26-28 weeks of pregnancy. For you, you already already more than half way through the pregnancy. So, you only have a few weeks of sacrificing your normal diet for a diabetic diet. That’s not too bad. You can do it!
For pregnancy, regardless of the type of diabetes you have, the goal is to maintain a fasting blood glucose (meaning fingerstick value when you first wake up, before eating) of less than 95mg/dl and well-controlled levels 1 or 2 hrs after eating meals. If you check your fingersticks 1hr after meals, your goal is to have your value less than 140mg/dl; if you check your fingersticks 2hrs after meals, the goal is 120mg/dl or less. Making sure you are well-controlled during pregnancy will make sure your baby remains safe! Watch my YouTube video below to learn more.