Pregnancy With Type 1 Diabetes
Forty five years ago when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I was clearly told I couldn’t have children. I didn’t. Today, thankfully that advice is no longer given. And while a woman with Type 1 diabetes needs to take precautions, she can absolutely, and safely, have a healthy baby. I sat down for an interview with Ginger Vieira, co-author,with Jennifer Smith, of the recent book, Pregnancy with Type 1 Diabetes: Your Month-to-Month Guide to Blood Sugar Management. What will people find in the book? As much information as you possibly need to understand why your blood sugars fluctuate during pregnancy and how to adjust your insulin management to keep your blood sugars as close to non-diabetic levels as possible. Also the book covers preparing for pregnancy, months one through nine of your pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum, including the challenges of breastfeeding for a woman with type 1 diabetes. My co-author Jenny is also my diabetes pregnancy coach. As a certified diabetes educator, woman with type 1 diabetes and mother, she knows this journey inside and out. What makes pregnancy for a woman with type 1 diabetes challenging? Let’s face it, a normal day with type 1 diabetes is challenging, balancing an autonomic system your body ought to balance on its own. And we’re only given insulin to do the job, while a non-diabetic body uses several different hormones to balance blood sugar. Add pregnancy to that mix and you add the insane pressure of, “Every decision you make impacts the human life growing inside of you!!!” And now you have to balance your blood sugars with constantly shifting pregnancy hormones. Plus those hormones impact your insulin needs in ways that are constantly changing and evolving. Also, there is never a break. Even when you’re sleepi Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Fertility: How Diabetes Can Affect Your Fertility
You’ve have been trying with no luck to get pregnant and have not been able to a find a reason for your infertility. You may have tried a fertility cleanse, begun eating a fertility diet, and are taking all the right supplements and herbs, but are still having trouble conceiving. It may be time to have a simple blood test to determine if your glucose levels are too high. With the rates of Type II diabetes rising every year in the U.S., more and more infertility specialists are looking toward this health issue as a main cause of some otherwise unexplained infertility cases they see. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are more than 200,000 new cases of Type II diabetes diagnosed every year, with another 2.4% of the general childbearing population suffering from the disease but not knowing it. When it comes to diabetes and infertility the answer is clear: there is a connection. No, in many cases (especially among women), diabetes alone does not keep them from getting pregnant, but it oftentimes keeps them from staying pregnant. In many cases, say fertility doctors, “a woman with higher than normal glucose levels does get pregnant month after month. Unfortunately her diabetes status prevents that embryo from implanting in the uterus, causing a miscarriage before she ever realizes she is pregnant.” In this case, the diabetes isn’t preventing conception, but is preventing an ongoing pregnancy. High glucose levels are reported to increase a woman’s chances of miscarriage by 30-60% according to statistics released by the American Diabetes Association. Even when implantation does occur, there are other risks to consider, including: An increased risk of birth defects due to damage caused to embryonic cells form the high levels of glucose in the blood Continue reading >>
Can My Husband's Diabetes Cause A Miscarriage?
Can my husband's diabetes cause a miscarriage? I had a miscarriage 2 months ago. I'm completely healthy and my OB/Gyne has no clue why it would have happened. She explained that there are millions of chromosomes and if 1 goes wrong, that is it. Ok, I get that but I won't accept it as my answer because I don't want it to happen again. So I researched more. The father is responsible for 50% of the chromosomes, so miscarriages actually could be from their end and not necessarily the mother's. My husband has Type 2 diabetes but has been taking care of it since he found out in December. It can cause fertility problems in men and can effect the DNA of the sperm. In my husband's case, we just found out the diabetes caused nerve damage in his groin area and a hernia in a testicle and will need surgery this month. I want to try again before surgery, but I'm scared. Has anyone experienced issues with pregnancy because of the fathers health? Is there a way we can protect ourselves from problems when we start trying again? Continue reading >>
Preparing For A Baby: From A Dad-to-be With Type 1 Diabetes
The Life of a Diabetic, who has lived with type 1 diabetes since the age of 19. Originally from Pennsylvania, Chris resides in South Florida with his wife, Amanda. Managing his own search engine optimization (SEO) company, CSI Marketing Solutions, in Delray Beach, he spends most of his time working, learning about search marketing, and advocating for diabetes. We’re thrilled to have him blogging for us, kicking us off with sharing his perspective on preparing for his first child. Please welcome Chris! July 2013 was an amazing time in my life because I married the love of my life, Amanda. Fast forward to July 2014, my wife and I were not only celebrating our one year anniversary, but also celebrating the news of having our first child. After all the initial excited reactions between my wife and me, I could not help but think, “what if our child is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?” It is a question that has popped into my head at least once a day for the last six to seven months. I usually tell myself there is nothing I can do about it if that day does come, so I cannot live every day in fear of it happening. But as a first time father-to-be with type 1 diabetes, I cannot help but think about it. Preparing for a baby from my perspective has included many more decisions other than what brand of diapers or bottles we want to put on our registry. We have had to discuss and research different items such as cord blood banking, to breastfeed or to not, a special diet for mommy while breastfeeding, what can we do during the early months of child to try and help prevent a diabetes diagnoses, etc. Preparing for Baby Stocker also made me realize how much more important it was for me to pay attention to my own health. This led me to pay more attention to my continuous glucose m Continue reading >>
Trying To Conceive With Type 1
Hi there. I'm 31 years old T1 and we've been TTC for 4 or 5 months now. It's felt much longer because it took me 6 months to get my a1c down from 7. My last two a1cs were 6.3 and 6.4, but my BG can still be variable (highs in 200+) sometimes. Anyway, I'm worried about the impact of diabetes on my ability to get pregnant and would love to hear from anyone with experience. - How long did it take you to get pregnant? - How tight were you around fertile window and weeks after to have a healthy baby? - Did you have any symptoms early in your pregnancy (between your ovulation day and before you tested positive for pregnancy? I get so sad and also worried every time I get my period now. I'm happy for all my friends, but it also makes me sad when I feel like everyone else can get pregnant except me. I'm sure this negative attitude and stress doesn't help things, but perhaps being more educated might help. Great job with your A1c! Are you on an insulin pump? If not I would highly recommend it! Better control is most important. The pump will help stabilize your blood sugar more. If you are getting your cycle each month regularly and your blood sugars are stable consistently then your on your way to making a baby! I am a lucky one with my pregnancy I had no morning sickness at all expect feeling tired all the time and this came after the positive pregnancy test. I use a cycle tracker app to record when I should be getting my cycle and it tracks my estimated day I would be ovulating. Its spot on every month. We tried a couple days before ovulating, on my ovulating day and the day after and we were pregnant. We were very lucky! Keep your head up it will happen The book "Balancing pregnancy with pre-existing diabetes" by Cheryl Alkon has a whole section with this and many women face Continue reading >>
I Have Diabetes. What Should I Know Before I Get Pregnant?
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for pregnancy. Rest assured that these steps can make a big difference to how healthy you and your baby are throughout the pregnancy you're hoping for. You will need to be very careful to monitor your blood sugar (glucose) levels, though. That's because, once you're pregnant, you and your unborn baby will have a higher risk of complications. Rarely, these complications caused by diabetes can result in a baby being born with a life-long condition. Sadly, mums-to-be with diabetes are more likely to have a miscarriage, or even experience the loss of a baby at birth. Babies born to mums with diabetes are also more likely to develop diabetes in later life. Most heart defects, kidney problems and nerve and brain defects happen in the first eight weeks of pregnancy. These potential risks are probably due, in part, to the way blood glucose levels can rapidly go up and down beyond the normal range. So controlling your diabetes starting now is key to preventing complications or, in the worst of cases, the loss of a longed-for pregnancy. The good news is that with careful planning and the support of your GP and diabetes specialist, this is very achievable. There may be a preconception diabetes clinic in your area where you can get help too. Taking the following steps will help you to be in the best of health, ready for conception: Aim to control your blood sugar. Your diabetes counsellor will recommend a glycosolated haemoglobin level (HbA1c) for you to maintain. If you don't already have one, you should be offered a kit for testing your own blood sugar levels often. Manage your diet carefully and take regular exercise. Don't drink alcohol, as it can make your blood sugar levels rise and fall ra Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Planning A Pregnancy
Find out all about what to do if you are planning to have a baby and have type 1 or 2 diabetes. If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, it is very important to talk to your healthcare team if you are thinking about having a baby. There are some things that are best done before you get pregnant that will reduce your risk of pregnancy complications and baby loss. Why its so important to plan my pregnancy? If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you need to be as healthy as possible before you conceive, and while you are pregnant. All pregnancies come with risks, but if you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, your level of risk is higher , for the baby and for you. You cant avoid these risks completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to reduce them. Preparing for pregnancy with type 1 or 2 diabetes The first thing to do is talk to your GP or diabetes team. They may refer you to a specialist pre-conception care team . You should get information about how diabetes affects pregnancy and how pregnancy affects diabetes. You will also be given details of local support you can have during pregnancy, including emergency contact numbers. Having diabetes should not affect your fertility (your ability to get pregnant). Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your fertility. There are several steps you can take before getting pregnant that will give you the best possible chance of having a healthy pregnancy. Step 1 Get your HbA1C to the recommended level Your HbA1C gives your average blood glucose level for the previous 2-3 months. The closer it is to your ideal level, the lower the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. Your healthcare team will be able to tell you what this level is for you; it is likely to be below 48 mmol/mol (6.5%). If your levels are too far above the ideal level, Continue reading >>
Women’s Top Diabetes Concerns
Managing type 2 diabetes means being good to yourself. “Diabetes requires self-care to do it well,” says Robin Goland, MD, diabetes research director at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “While many women are comfortable at taking care of others, it can be hard for them to take care of themselves.” Your first line of defense is a healthy diet and exercise plan, so talk to your doctor about creating one that will likely include: Getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity on most days. Anything that gets your heart rate up and causes you to sweat a little is beneficial, even if it’s gardening, walking, or cleaning your house. Eating foods that will keep your blood sugar levels in check. That means choosing high-fiber foods, swapping out white starchy foods for whole grains, putting lots of vegetables on your plate, and steering clear of sweetened beverages, including fruit juice. Ask your doctor who else can help you, like a nutritionist or a diabetes specialist. Having diabetes makes heart disease more likely. That's all the more reason to follow your doctor's guidelines about diet and exercise. Also, track your blood pressure, says OB/GYN and diabetes educator Cassandra Henderson, MD, of New York’s Lincoln Hospital and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Keeping your cholesterol levels in check will also help protect your heart. Continue reading >>
Pregnancy Was Hard But Worth Every Moment
Save for later My pregnancy was without doubt the hardest thing I've ever done, but worth every minute to have baby James safe in my arms. My control wasn't as good as it should have been when we started trying for a baby, and I hadn't seen a diabetes consultant for years. Instead I just attended check ups at my GP surgery. To be honest I didn't fully realise the risks involved with having a baby as a diabetic, although I did know that diabetics have a tendency to have larger babies. It was during one of these check ups that I mentioned that my husband and I wanted to start a family, and the practice nurse told me I should see a diabetes consultant urgently. At that point I was already a few days' pregnant - although I didn't know it yet. I was worried about miscarriage Thankfully we found that I was pregnant very early on, and I was seen by a consultant the following week. I'd read up on what effects diabetes can have on pregnancy and I felt quite stupid and irresponsible for not having taken better care of my sugar levels before. I wanted this baby so much but was really worried that I would have a miscarriage, or that the baby would have some kind of abnormality. I was determined to get my blood sugar levels to the lowest levels I could, and started testing at least 10 times a day. I was really struggling to get the balance right, giving myself corrective injections to bring the levels down, and having hypos every single day. Hormones during pregnancy interfere with blood sugar levels. That coupled with losing hypo awareness meant I had a lot of severe hypos and we had to call an ambulance out on a couple of occasions. Ten weeks into my pregnancy I had a hypo at work where I ended up fitting at my desk. I hadn't wanted to tell my colleagues that I was pregnant until Continue reading >>
Does Diabetes Affect Fertility?
There was a time when women who had diabetes were strongly advised to avoid getting pregnant. Attempting to produce a biologically-related family was just too dangerous [source: Brucker]. Fortunately, diabetic women are no longer given that heartbreaking direction from caregivers. Diabetics can, and routinely do, get pregnant and give birth to healthy children. Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, however, can still be a major factor in fertility for men or women. There are challenges diabetics face in getting a partner pregnant, becoming pregnant, maintaining a pregnancy and ensuring they give birth to a healthy, full-term baby. Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2) can harm sperm [source: Paddock]. Type 2 diabetes can make it far more difficult to become pregnant. There's an increased rate of miscarriage among diabetics in general, and women with Type 1 diabetes are somewhat more likely to have a baby with a birth defect or a child born prematurely [source: MyDr]. However, all of these challenges can largely be managed by being attentive to and responding to signals from the body. In order to understand why diabetes affects reproduction, it helps to have a general understanding of the disease in both of its forms. A healthy human body digests food and -- with the help of a hormone called insulin -- transports a form of sugar known as glucose through the bloodstream to cells for energy. Diabetics have flaws in their metabolism. A Type 1 diabetic's body doesn't make insulin. The body of a Type 2 diabetic either fails to create enough insulin, the person's cells don't react properly to the insulin or both malfunctions occur [source: Nordqvist]. Click ahead to learn the specifics of how Type 1 diabetes influences reproduction and how it can be managed. You've undoubtedly heard a pregnant wom Continue reading >>
Planning A Pregnancy With Type 1 Or 2 Diabetes
Why it’s so important to plan my pregnancy? If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you need to be as healthy as possible before you conceive, and while you are pregnant. All pregnancies come with risks, but if you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, your level of risk is higher, for the baby and for you. You can’t avoid these risks completely, but there are a lot of things you can do to reduce them. "Right from when I was diagnosed, my diabetes team said to me ‘If you're ever thinking of having a family, you need to let us know because there are special things you have to do." Preparing for pregnancy with type 1 or 2 diabetes… If you are not yet pregnant, talk to your GP or diabetes team. They may have enough expertise themselves, or they may refer you to a specialist pre-conception care team. There are a number of steps you can take before conception that will give you the best possible chance of having a healthy pregnancy. They will explain these steps to you and your partner or family member. Step 1: Get your HbA1C to the recommended level Your HbA1C gives your average blood glucose level for the previous 2-3 months. It is thought that the closer it is to your ideal level (your healthcare team will be able to tell you what this is), the lower the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. If your levels are too far above the ideal level, your team will encourage you to manage your blood glucose more tightly and then re-test every month until you reach the recommended levels before you actually try to conceive. If your HbA1C is very high (above 86 mmol/mol) you are strongly recommended to avoid getting pregnant until you can reduce the levels, as this will reduce the risk of miscarriage, and of your baby dying before, during or after the time of birth. Step 2: Check your blood gluc Continue reading >>
The Shock Of Gestational Diabetes
About the author View all posts by TheLongPointGirl Some people are not surprised when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. They know they are at risk. They have family members with type 2 diabetes. They have had conversations about diabetes with others who live with it. They have learned by observing others what it would be like to live with it whether its true diabetes or diabetes related to pregnancy . But for some of us, it was the shock of our lives. We have no family history of any type of diabetes that we are aware of. Oh, we have heard of diabetes but like most people, we dont always pay attention to what it is because it hasnt directly affected us. With the diagnosis of gestational diabetes you learn very quickly that diabetes has entered your life. Questions then come calling. A: The pregnancy has caused my body to have difficulty using the sugars the way it should be. A: Yes, the baby will be fine but there are things I will have to do to try to control the sugar load so the baby doesnt grow too big for a safe delivery. Although I jest, it isnt funny when it happens to you. The last thing any pregnant woman wants to find out is that part of her body isnt working the way it should when shes growing a baby. Or that she may have type 2 diabetes later in life. My diabetes journey started with my second pregnancy. Not my first, my second. Want to talk about shock? Looking back, I think my doctor had been monitoring me for this for a while before it actually surfaced or he said anything. Throughout the pregnancy, I had the usual blood work taken with no issues I was aware of. The routine blood glucose testing during pregnancy was done around 30 weeks at that time so I had it done. (Today the testing is done much earlier in the pregnancy). I didnt think twice a Continue reading >>
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Partners Of Diabetic Men 'more Likely To Miscarry'
Wives and girlfriends of diabetic men may be more likely to miscarry, research suggests. A study has shown that diabetics' sperm is of poorer quality than that of other men. It is feared this could make it harder for their partners to get pregnant and make the more likely to miscarry. With rates of both forms of diabetes rising sharply, more and more young men may be denied the chance of fatherhood. Researcher Dr Con Mallidis said: 'What is particularly alarming is that the people who are being diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are younger and younger. 'As a consequence, we have a much larger population of people who are diabetic during their reproductive years.' The study of young men with type 1, or childhood diabetes, picked up DNA damage in sperm that looked otherwise normal, the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's annual conference in Barcelona heard. It is known that such damage can make it harder for women to become pregnant and increase the risk of miscarriage. The researchers, from Queen's University, Belfast, said it was likely men with type 2 diabetes, which tends to develop in middle-age and is linked to obesity, would be similarly affected. Fellow researcher Professor Neil McClure said it was clear that a man's health affected his fertility. 'For too long the role of general health in male fertility has been ignored,' he said. 'Very few centres take a detailed history from the man, concentrating instead on the female. 'This basic mistake is understandable but, now, those working in this area must give greater consideration to the male and to ensuring that he is in peak physique and health to maximise the couple’s chances of successful conception.' More than 2.3 million Britons have the diabetes, with type 2 accounting for up to Continue reading >>
Trying To Get (my Wife) Pregnant
Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community My name's Dan, I'm 29 years old and I live in the south-east UK, quite near to Reading. I was diagnosed as being Type I Diabetic when I was 16 and currently have to inject 4 times a day. Over the 13 years that I've been living with my Diabetes I think I've gradually developed rather a relaxed attitude to it and as a consequence I haven't always looked after my blood sugar nearly as carefully as I should have done. The reason for my post is to ask whether anyone here knows anything much about how Diabetes can affect fertility. My wife and I did manage to get pregnant back in June but we lost the baby at the beginning of August and have now started trying again. I've read several things online though, saying that there's an increased chance of miscarriage if the father suffers from Diabetes and also that sperm can be damaged by poor blood-sugar regulation. I've also read articles saying that being Diabetic has no bearing on male fertility whatsoever so this has left me a little confused. At the moment I'm feeling rather angry and frustrated at myself for potentially jeopardising our chances of falling pregnant again by my complete absence of will-power. Obviously I'm working hard to rectify this now but I would love to hear from anyone who has been in the same situation who is now a parent! I am sorry to hear of the recent miscarriage suffered by your wife. I do not know if diabetes is linked to male infertility. It sounds like doctors do not know that much on the subject either. I do know though, from personal experience, that there is a lot that the medical profession can do to assist couples with fertility problems, irrespective of what the cause of Continue reading >>
How To Get Pregnant With Type 1 Diabetes (all The Lifestyle Tips)
Who recognizes the name Lyrehca from the blog Managing the Sweetness Within, chronicling one woman's efforts to get and stay pregnant while dealing with her lifelong type 1 diabetes? Yes, you guessed it: Lyrehca is coming out of the closet as herself, Cheryl Alkon, now-author of the forthcoming book Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby. Today, Lyrehca (er, Cheryl) shares a brief version of her story, and some don't-miss tips on diabetes and pregnancy. A Guest Post by Cheryl Alkon, D-blogger and Author When I first thought about trying to get pregnant, almost five years ago, I did everything I was supposed to do: I stepped up visits to my endocrinologist for pre-pregnancy consults I worked to get my blood sugar numbers into the tight ranges recommended for pregnancy I saw my eye doctor to check my eyes for any longterm damage from diabetes and learned how pregnancy might affect them I ate better and took prenatal vitamins I also looked everywhere for books and websites about the subject and I soon met with the maternal-fetal medicine specialist who worked with my endocrinologist at my hospital's diabetes and pregnancy program. Despite excellent blood sugars, an overall good bill of health, and extensive knowledge about the topic, I left the specialist's office in tears. Why? The doc, also known as a high-risk obstetrician, spent our appointment telling me all the terrible things that could happen in a pregnancy complicated by diabetes. Yes, tight blood sugars were necessary. Without them, the chances of having a pregnancy colored by complications, both for me and for the unborn baby, were high. The visit was a long list of all the potential things that could go wrong, from the pregnancy itself, to actually giving birth, to the health Continue reading >>