Your preconception health matters! Keep reading to learn how you can prevent birth defects & prediabetes, and why it’s so important!
Why it’s So Important to Keep Blood Sugars at Normal Levels
High blood sugars can cause birth defects. As you can see from the graph, all of your baby’s vital organs are developing before you even know you’re pregnant. There is a direct correlation between Type 2 diabetes and spina bifida. Many other neurological and heart deformities are associated with uncontrolled blood sugars.
Type 2 diabetics need to have good control of their blood sugars for six months before pregnancy to avoid birth defects. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommend an A1c of 5.7 or less for 6 months before conception. This is very difficult to do. It requires dedication to your diabetes program and possibly additional education. (I provide this kind of support, for Type 2 diabetics in their quest for a healthy baby.)
If you have had gestational diabetes or have had a baby over 9 pounds, you are at an increased risk for prediabetes. If you are considering getting pregnant again, ask for an A1c blood test. The standard fasting blood test does not diagnose prediabetes. Many doctors do not recommend the A1c test for non-diabetics because many insurance companies will not cover the cost. But it is important to evaluate your average blood sugar levels before you get pregnant to avoid birth defects. If this is something that concerns you, check out my “Healthy Baby from Preconception to Birth and Beyond” online course!
Do you need support to get your blood sugar within an acceptable range? I offer a 1:1 phone consulting service to assist Type 2 diabetics. (Sorry, no Type 1 diabetics accepted at this time. Please consult your diabetes team for assistance.)
Are you ready to have a healthy baby? Schedule a FREE call with me! Let’s see how I can help you.
Not sure about any of this? I know it can be overwhelming. Click here to get a Free list of 10 signs of prediabetes.
Good luck to you! Please contact me if you have any questions!
By Julie Stelting RN CDE