Myth or Truth – Diabetes

Myth “I am less likely to get pregnant because I have Type 2 diabetes”

Truth Type 2 diabetes doesn’t affect fertility so if you are not yet menopausal, you are just as likely to become pregnant as before. However, there are risks to your baby’s health as well as your own if you conceive when your blood glucose level is regularly outside the recommended range. If you wish to become pregnant, control your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels to reduce these risks.

How should I care for my diabetes while I’m pregnant?

Aiming for your pre-meal blood glucose level to be between 75 and 108 mg/dl and your post-meal (a hours after eating) blood glucose level to be 75-130 mg/dl, with an A1C test result of 7 percent or below, is recommended. As your pregnancy progresses, you will need to take an increased amount of insulin and you will have regular appointments with your health professional.

Will I need special tests during my pregnancy?

Yes, you will be offered and A1C test every 1-2 months, your blood pressure will be taken on every visit to your doctor, and your eyes will be checked at least every 3 months for retinopathy. All your medication will be reviewed. You may be offered special scans to check your baby’s growth and development.

What will happen to my diabetes during labor?

If your labor progresses normally, you may be able to monitor your own blood glucose level and give yourself insulin. If you have been advised not to eat – in case you might need a general anesthetic – you may need to have an intravenous glucose drip and insulin to keep your blood glucose in the recommended range.

Can I breastfeed if I have diabetes?

Yes, although you may be more prone to hypoglycemic attacks if you take insulin. Reducing your dose or increasing the amount of carbohydrate food you eat can be helpful. While you are breastfeeding, keep your hypoglycemic treatments and snacks nearby and drink extra sugar-free fluid. Taking pills for diabetes is not recommended while you are breastfeeding.

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