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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can my existing type 2 diabetes affect my pregnancy?

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  • Carolien Koreneff

    Counsellor, Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Psychotherapist, Registered Nurse

    Carolien Koreneff is a Somatic (body-oriented) psychotherapist, Health Coach, Counsellor as well as a Credentialed Diabetes Educator with over 20 years experience. She currently sees … View Profile

    High sugars are a risk in pregnancy. The fetus is very sensitive to sugar, and therefore, the body usually lowers the glucose threshold in healthy individuals. If you have pre-existing diabetes, whether it's Type 1 or Type 2, there is an increased risk of fetal malformation. Therefore it is crucial that there is good blood sugar level control prior to the pregnancy for at least three months. It is important for healthy individuals to take folic acid months before planning a pregnancy to avoid fetal malformations however people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have a tenfold increased risk of malformation. Therefor I usually recommend at least three months, but preferably six or more, before planning the pregnancy to start with folic acid treatment. It is also recommended that people living with diabetes take a higher dose of folic acid than the general population. This would mean taking 5 milligrams of folic acid rather than 0.5 milligrams.
    People with pre-existing diabetes can have a healthy baby, it just requires planning. Talk to your endocrinologist or Credentialed Diabetes Educator if you are thinking of planning a pregnancy, so they can help you!

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