Sunday, July 5, 2009

Diabetes and pregnancy

A headline I saw today, on expectant mothers with diabetes, reminded me of an important subject matter I haven't written on yet: diabetes and pregnancy.

Several years ago, when Michael and I were first contemplating marriage and the kids we wanted, I started looking into diabetes and pregnancy. I am a big-time advocate of keeping hospitals out of the birth process — or keeping laboring moms out of the hospital, I guess I should say — so I was interested in finding out more about diabetes and the possible complications of pregnancy.

What I found was both encouraging and discouraging. There are a lot of various problems that can arise from diabetic mothers giving birth, including birth defects, miscarriages, and oversized babies that require C-sections to be born. However, most of these complications seem to arise in cases where the mother's control over her sugars wasn't as good as it should have been.

Michael and I didn't start trying to get pregnant right away as we'd planned — we're now planning on starting to try later this year, when I'm done participating in a study at my doctor's office. Much of my research on the subject was therefore done quite a while ago, but I'm going to review it and write a few posts regarding diabetes and pregnancy. Although the article I linked to talks about both gestational and pregestational (i.e., type 1 or type 2 diabetes that existed pre-pregnancy) diabetes, my posts will have to do primarily with type 1 diabetes and how it affects pregnancy, labor, and the choices available to expectant moms.

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