One third of women with diabetes don’t know they have it – that’s one out of every three women with diabetes, a lot! Today is Diabetes Awareness Day. We’ve posted on the importance of getting diabetes under control before you conceive and keeping it under control during pregnancy, but today is a good opportunity to mention it again.
This is really important ladies. If too much glucose (sugar) is in a woman’s blood during early pregnancy, there’s a chance that this can cause birth defects of the brain or spine, heart defects, cleft lip or palate, kidney problems, etc. In later pregnancy, too much glucose could lead to high blood pressure in the mom, a baby that is too large or born prematurely, a cesarean delivery or other life-threatening situations.
Pre-existing diabetes may also increase the risk of miscarriage and poorly controlled diabetes later in pregnancy may increase the risk of stillbirth .
But don’t panic, because paying attention now has excellent benefits. Most of these women can look forward to having a healthy baby. While diabetes poses some risks in pregnancy, advances in care have greatly improved the outlook for these pregnancies. So make sure you get your preconception checkup, fine tune any issues and be as healthy as possible before you conceive.