Pregestational Diabetes: Having a Healthy Pregnancy When You Have Diabetes

You have diabetes and you want to become pregnant. Problem, right? Not necessarily. By planning ahead and working to stay in control of your diabetes, you can increase the chance that you will stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and you will have a healthy baby.

Photo of pregestational diabetes blood glucose testing

Planning Ahead

When you have diabetes before you become pregnant, we refer to that as pregestational diabetes. This isn’t to be confused with gestational diabetes that develops while you are pregnant and then goes away after you have your baby.

If you have pregestational diabetes and your glucose levels aren’t under control, you need to get them that way before you become pregnant. Some birth defects caused by high glucose levels occur during the first eight weeks of pregnancy – before you may even know you’re pregnant. This is critical because the baby’s organs are developing during this time.

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause problems for both you and your baby, such as:

But when you keep your glucose controlled to keep your diabetes controlled, you can decrease the risk of these problems.

Controlling Your Glucose

Controlling your glucose depends on you taking your medications, eating right, and exercising as your doctor tells you to do.

Labor and Delivery

Your doctor will closely monitor the health of you and your baby throughout your pregnancy. She or he may induce labor earlier than your due date as a precaution if health problems for either of you arise. When you’re in labor, your doctor will monitor your glucose and give you insulin if necessary.

Babies born to mothers with pregestational diabetes may have problems with breathing, low glucose levels, or jaundice. But if you have worked to control your glucose levels during pregnancy, there is a lower risk of your baby having health complications.

Once your baby is born, experts highly recommend you breastfeed. It’s the best nutrition for the baby, plus it will help you lose extra weight you may have gained during pregnancy.


It’s an exciting time when you start planning for a baby! But if you have diabetes, we recommend you start your planning by talking to your doctor. Call us at 307.637.7700 to schedule an appointment today.

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