Pregnancy with Diabetes

pregnancy with diabetes

In our previous podcast with Dr.Elizabeth Widen, we talk about the nutritional needs during pregnancy and what can be some causes of not receiving these needs.

“In the United States, about 1 to 2 percent of pregnant people have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and about 6 to 9 percent of pregnant people develop gestational diabetes. From 2000 to 2010, the percentage of pregnant people with gestational diabetes increased by 56%, and the percentage of women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes before pregnancy increased by 37%” (CDC).

Types of Diabetes

Type 1

  • Known as juvenile diabetes, is a chronic condition. The pancreas produces little to no insulin. Different factor such as genetics may cause type 1 diabetes. “Although type 1 diabetes usually appears during childhood or adolescence, it can develop in adults” (Mayo Clinic).

Type 2

  • A chronic condition that impairs the way the body regulates and uses sugar as a fuel. The pancreas does not produce enough insulin and cells respond poorly to insulin and take in less sugar. It is more common in adults but can develop in younger people as well (Mayo Clinic).

Gestational Diabetes

  • Diabetes that is diagnosed for the first time during pregnancy. It affects how your cells use sugar and causes high blood sugar that can affect pregnancy. Usually, after having gestational diabetes during pregnancy, the blood sugar returns to normal after delivery. However, it is still a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes (Mayo Clinic).

How Diabetes can Affect Pregnancy 

Hormonal and other changes in the body can affect blood glucose levels. Pregnancy can worsen long-term problems such as high blood pressure, vision loss, and kidney disease (CDC). Risks also include;

  • Preeclampsia – high blood pressure that can damage the liver and kidneys
  • Insulin resistance – when insulin is less effective at lowering blood sugar
  • Macrosomia – a larger than average baby, which can lead to a difficult delivery
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Low blood sugar
  • Early (Preterm) Birth

Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy with Diabetes

  • Plan for pregnancy
  • Visit your doctor early
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take medication and Insulin as directed
  • Treat low blood sugar quickly
  • Monitor blood sugar often

A healthy pregnancy is still possible when having diabetes. “Today, most individuals with diabetes can have a safe pregnancy and birth, similar to that of individuals without diabetes. This improvement is largely due to good blood glucose management, daily glucose monitoring, and insulin adjustments” (UpToDate). Knowing your glucose levels, getting regular checkups, staying on top of medication, and even creating a meal plan. These are all ways that can help in staying healthy during pregnancy with diabetes.

Healthy Recipes to Consider



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