Management of diabetes in pregnancy is very important. According to Time Magazine, women with type 1 or type to diabetes carry a higher risk for many factors including:

  • Large birth weights – this results in more Cesarean births or increases the complications of delivery
  • Pre-eclampsia – a dangerous surge in blood pressure
  • Diabetic retinopathy – damage to the retina because of high glucose levels
  • Severe hypoglycemia – low blood sugar which can cause confusion or unconsciousness


In addition, high glucose levels early on in pregnancy have a high risk of causing the baby to have a birth defect. Babies of mothers with diabetes also have an increased risk of premature birth or fetal death. There are about 1.85 million women of reproductive age that have diabetes. 500,000 of them don’t know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This hinders the correct management of diabetes in pregnancy (Time Magazine, 2006).


Management of Diabetes Mellitus in Pregnancy


For women who know about their diabetes and are taught proper management, diabetes in pregnancy has successful results. Diabetes management in pregnancy is not that difficult in most cases either. Pregnant women should monitor their blood sugar at least four times a day. This means once before breakfast and one hour after each meal. A doctor which can treat the diabetes should be seen once a week, an A1C test should be given every 4-8 weeks, and blood glucose levels should be checked before driving.

Management of diabetes in pregnancy also involves a very open relationship between patients and their doctors. Physicians should take time to explain dietary guidelines and acceptable forms of physical activity. A diabetes educator or a dietician may also be needed.

Slowly absorbing carbohydrates, such as whole-meal bread, oats, brown rice, and pasta are usually recommended. Lean meats, oily fish, fruits, and vegetables are important. Some snacks are okay, as long as they are low in fat, sugar, and salt and not eaten too often. Exercise should be of moderate intensity. The Department of Health recommends at least 30 minutes a day of activity that gets you slightly breathless.

After the baby is born blood sugar levels of both the baby and the mother will be monitored. Breastfeeding the baby within 30 minutes of delivery helps to keep blood sugar levels on target. The baby should then be breastfed every 2-3 hours.