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Diabetic? Here’s How Your Pregnancy Might Look a Little Different

Diabetic? Here’s How Your Pregnancy Might Look a Little Different

Diabetes has a profound effect on both your health and your baby's well-being. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 2% of women have diabetes before they become pregnant, and 6%-9% develop gestational diabetes, or diabetes during pregnancy.

Whether you have diabetes and are planning to become pregnant or you live with new-onset gestational diabetes, understanding how your pregnancy differs with diabetes is vital to a healthy outcome.

Dr. Inga Zilberstein is an expert OB/GYN offering gestational diabetes support for pregnant women in the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York. Dr. Zilberstein has plenty of experience helping women with complications during pregnancy, including diabetes.

Understanding gestational diabetes

Diabetes is a severe chronic health condition that affects people of all ages. If you're a woman with diabetes and you’re planning to become pregnant, you need to understand that your pregnancy will be slightly different than if you didn't have the condition.

Type 1 diabetes happens when your body doesn't produce insulin, a hormone your pancreas makes in response to increased blood sugar. When you have Type 2 diabetes, your body produces insulin but doesn't use it appropriately, causing a rise in blood sugar.

Gestational diabetes is a specific form of disease that occurs only during pregnancy. No matter what type of diabetes you have, you and your baby are at risk for complications without proper treatment.

If you discover diabetes while pregnant, you have a few more hurdles to cross for a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery. For instance, Dr. Zilberstein needs to closely monitor your baby's growth patterns and health during gestation.

However, with proper care and regulation of your blood sugar, you can have a safe and healthy pregnancy with few complications, if any.

The risks of diabetes during pregnancy

Diabetes, whether present before or during pregnancy, has severe risks to your health and the baby's health. There are several serious issues you're at risk for when you have diabetes, including:


Poor blood sugar control during your pregnancy may lead to a stillbirth. It's unknown what causes stillbirth in pregnant women with diabetes, but it may be linked to poor circulation and slow growth during gestation.

Larger-than-average baby

Fetal macrosomia is a term that describes a baby that’s larger than average at birth. Diabetes increases your risk for macrosomia, as the baby's insulin production leads to more fat production and a higher birth weight.


If you don't control your blood sugar during pregnancy, it affects both you and your baby. Your high blood sugar means your baby gets high insulin levels in their blood. After you give birth, your baby still has high insulin levels but no longer gets glucose from you, resulting in hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels.


Diabetes during your pregnancy increases your risk for a dangerous condition called preeclampsia — when your blood pressure rises to unhealthy levels, putting you and your baby at risk for pregnancy complications and birth defects, especially when your blood sugar isn't well controlled. They can suffer from defects of the heart, lungs, and other organs with high blood sugar.

Overcoming complications during pregnancy

The most significant difference when you have diabetes during pregnancy is the frequency of your prenatal visits and more attentive care for you and the baby.

If you have diabetes, you and Dr. Zilberstein must ensure that you stay healthy to keep fetal development on the right track. She may require more frequent visits to check your blood sugar and the status of your baby.

Dr. Zilberstein advises you on healthy eating options to stabilize your blood sugar, which is essential for a healthy pregnancy. You also need to increase physical activity to help you control your blood sugar and prevent complications.

If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes before pregnancy, Dr. Zilberstein helps you understand the changes your body goes through during pregnancy that affect your blood sugar. She works with your other doctors to hone in on your medications to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

She keeps a close eye on your weight during your pregnancy as well. With diabetes, you must maintain a healthy weight during and after pregnancy to ensure you and your baby are safe. A healthy weight also allows you to better control your blood sugar, resulting in improved outcomes during and after pregnancy.

When you're pregnant with diabetes, you need expert care for you and your baby. Call or text Dr. Inga Zilberstein today, or request an appointment online using our convenient booking tool on this website.

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