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What is pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy?

Pre-existing diabetes in pregnancy, unlike gestational diabetes, exists before the pregnancy and has numerous risks. In fact, in the past, women with pre-existing diabetes were discouraged from becoming pregnant because the risks for both the mother and baby were extremely high. With advancements in pregnancy management and newborn care, having a healthy baby is possible.

While you are pregnant, it is more important than ever to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications for you and your baby, including miscarriage, birth defects, preterm delivery and even stillbirth.

Our approach

The Center for Diabetes in Pregnancy offers a specially designed Pre-Existing Diabetes and Management Program for women with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We offer care from preconception through postpartum and cover all facets of diabetes management. You will also have access to individualized counseling and educational classes to help you fully understand your condition and its effects.

Our specialists within the Center collaborate with maternal fetal medicine physicians, diabetes educators, nutritionists and insulin pump experts.

We look at your pre-existing diabetes from all angles so you can be certain you and your baby are receiving the best care.

Post-counseling and guidance
Your pregnancy is our priority—at every stage

From before you conceive to after you deliver, we're here to offer you and your baby a higher standard of care

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Close monitoring of your blood sugar and adhering to the treatment plan offered by our team of specialists can minimize the chances of pregnancy complications. However, if diabetes is left uncontrolled, there are numerous risks that could have serious effects on you and your baby.

Complications that could affect your baby:

  • Respiratory distress syndrome (breathing problems after birth)
  • Birth defects
  • Miscarriage
  • Stillbirth (a baby that dies before birth)
  • Premature birth
  • High birth weight leading to physical injuries to your baby
  • Low blood glucose levels after delivery
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin)
  • Increased risk for childhood obesity and diabetes

Complications that could affect you:

  • High birth weight leading to physical injuries to you
  • Premature birth
  • Preeclampsia
  • Eclampsia
  • High blood pressure
  • Worsening of conditions caused by diabetes
  • Infections
  • Delivery through C-section

Long-term care

After your baby is successfully delivered, you will likely find that the education and diabetic counseling you received throughout your pregnancy will have positive and lasting effects. Many women who previously did not have well-controlled diabetes are surprised to see how much their self-care improves, which can also help with future pregnancies.

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