Planning a family with diabetes - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Planning a family with diabetes

Madison (WKOW) -- With obesity on the rise, doctors are helping more women with diabetes prepare for pregnancy.

  And there's critical information that women planning a family should know, regardless of the type of diabetes they have.

  Amy Cobb has type one diabetes.

  So when she decided to start a family, she kept a watchful eye on her blood sugar.

  Cobb said, "you live your life having diabetes trying to remain in this one set of goals, but then when you're pregnant the goals get a lot tighter and a lot stricter."

  She's right.

  Out-of-control blood sugar can increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.

  Doctor Jennifer Wyckoff said, "spina bifida, cleft lip, kidney problems, a variety of things can go wrong because of high blood sugars in the first trimester. But the one that is the most common is heart defects."

  It can take up to six months to get blood sugar back to healthy levels, so plan ahead and see a doctor before you conceive.

  Doctor Wyckoff added, "you want to find a maternal fetal medicine specialist. A high-risk ob/gyn who is familiar with caring for women with diabetes and pregnancy."

  You may need to up your insulin during pregnancy.

  Diabetes pills should be avoided.

  "Some medications that are used to treat diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol are not safe in pregnancy and need to be discontinued prior to pregnancy," said Doctor Wyckoff.

  Amy kept tight control of her diabetes, before, during and after pregnancy, by checking her blood sugar eight to ten times a day.

  She said, "I really gave it one hundred percent and I think that's why, and with the help of the doctors, and you know, it's just a blessing everything turned out wonderful."

  Doctor Wyckoff says women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing type two diabetes down the road, so regular screening before a next pregnancy is recommended.

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