Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Discusses Diabetes and Pregnancy
There's a lot to think about if you're a woman who is planning on getting pregnant.
Women who happen to have Type 1 diabetes need to keep some important health issues in mind.
Susan Gustavsson, RN, BSN, CDE, is a Diabetes Nurse Educator at The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy who works with patients who have Type 1 diabetes. With patients who are pregnant and looking for help to keep their diabetes in check during their pregnancy, it's an important job.
"Working with them to make sure their blood sugar is as well controlled as possible, help them with their meal plan, exercise and of course, the very important monitoring of their finger stick blood sugars," Gustavsson said.
According to Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN, Chair of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mercy, women with Type 1 diabetes need to get their blood sugar level in control before they get pregnant.
"One of the most important things for a Type 1 diabetic to understand is the importance of having their hemoglobin A1C under control prior to conception. We know that an elevated hemoglobin A1C is associated with an increased risk of poor pregnancy outcome," Dr. Atlas said.
Potential problems for the mother include preeclampsia and cardiac disease. Potential problems for the baby include premature birth, fetal abnormalities and neural tube defects.
For the best pregnancy outcome, he advises all women to be at a healthy weight before conception, and if you're heavy, "Losing five to 10 percent of body weight actually improves your outcome, whether you have diabetes or not."
View the interviews regarding diabetes and pregnancy, with Dr. Robert Atlas, OB/GYN and Mercy nurse Susan Gustavsson.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.