Pregnant With Diabetes? Here’s What You Need to Know

There are many things you can do to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.

But for women living with type 2 diabetes, taking control of your condition is the first step.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of, recently received this e-mail from a viewer.

Q: I am a 32-year-old woman with type 2 diabetes. Is there anything I need to take into account while I’m trying to get pregnant?

Alvarez said it’s important for women with diabetes to have their blood glucose levels within target range three to six months before conception – and to make sure it stays that way throughout the pregnancy.

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The American Diabetes Association says the target range should be between 60 and 119 before eating and 100 to 149 an hour after meals. You’ll also want to get your A1C levels down to normal range, which means below seven percent. The A1C test measures your average blood glucose control for the past two to three months, according to the Association.

“The first trimester of pregnancy is a critical time in the formation of your baby’s vital organs,” Alvarez said. “Failing to manage your sugars can increase the risk of complications.”

Those complications can include:
*Birth defects
*Abnormally large baby
*Low blood sugar at birth
*Respiratory issues

“Having high blood glucose levels during pregnancy can also put you at risk,” Alvarez said. “Get a pre-pregnancy exam to make sure you are healthy and ready to conceive. Talk to your doctor about any medications and supplements you’re taking, because some of them may not be recommended for use during pregnancy.”

Do you have a question for Dr. Manny? E-mail him at