Although the babies of women with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes have a slightly higher risk of birth defects, the vast majority are born healthy nowadays. It just takes extra attention. That means more frequent blood glucose monitoring, medication adjustments and medical visits. The Joslin-Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Diabetes in Pregnancy Program can help you do this.
Start Before Conception
For women with diabetes, it is important to lay the groundwork for a safe pregnancy well before getting pregnant. The best chance for a healthy baby is if your blood glucose levels are as close to normal as possible before trying to conceive. For the woman who is overweight or obese, weight loss before pregnancy can also improve your baby’s health.
Women with type 2 diabetes who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy should tell their healthcare provider so the right medication can be prescribed.
A Healthy Mother and Baby
The Pregnancy Program is a collaborative effort of Joslin Clinic’s medical staff and the high-risk maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Joslin’s healthcare team—which includes physicians, nurse educators, dietitians and other diabetes specialists—provides the diabetes treatment. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists from Beth Israel Deaconess, who are skilled in high-risk pregnancies, provide the obstetrical (pregnancy and childbirth) care.
Joslin's Pregnancy Program staff are happy to coordinate care with your own high-risk obstetrician, if this is preferred.
Steps to Take Before Your First Medical Visit When Pregnant
Women with diabetes who become pregnant can make the most of their first visit with a diabetes pregnancy team by following these steps.
Sometimes diabetes is diagnosed during the course of a pregnancy. For a healthy baby, women with “gestational diabetes” need to learn to manage blood glucose, usually through diet and exercise. In some cases insulin is required.
Blood glucose levels of women with gestational diabetes usually return to normal after delivery of the baby. However, women who have had gestational diabetes are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, especially if they are overweight.
Pregnancy Program Team
The Joslin-Beth Israel Pregnancy Program takes a team approach to offering optimal care for women with diabetes who are pregnant. Back row: Suzanne Ghiloni, R.N., C.D.E., certified diabetes nurse instructor; Shanti Serdy, M.D., endocrinologist; Elizabeth Halprin, M.D., endocrinologist; Tamara James, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher. Front row: Tamara Takoudes, M.D., obstetrician, maternal fetal medicine specialist and co-director; Allison Cohen, M.D., endocrinologist; Florence Brown, M.D., endocrinologist and co-director. Not shown: Breda Curran, program coordinator; Tracey Lucier, R.D., C.D.E., nutritionist and certified diabetes educator.
For more information about the Joslin-Beth Israel Pregnancy Program, or to make an appointment, please call 617-732-2496.