Diabetes, Pregnancy and Halle Berry

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • Pregnancy Tracker: 6 months down!

    Size of the Baby: 1.3 pounds.

    Biggest Obstacle: Patience, I've got four more months to go!


    What do Halle Berry and I have in common? Sadly, it's not movie star looks and paychecks. However, we're both currently experiencing a diabetic pregnancy, and that's pretty cool.


    With the recent news of Halle Berry's pregnancy, the issue of diabetes and pregnancy hit the mainstream. While there is some confusion regarding what type of diabetes Ms. Berry has, whether type 1 or 2, she's dealing with a host of health-related issues while managing her diabetic pregnancy. For Halle, at 41 years old, she'll have additional concerns related to "advanced maternal age," which anyone over the ripe old age of 35 has to contend with.

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    Because of her fame and wealth, Halle will have access to amenities such as personal trainers, chefs, and world class healthcare that will no doubt make her pregnancy a bit easier. However, she'll be putting in the hours of finger sticks, insulin injections, doctor's appointments, and medical tests that are the backbone of a pregnancy with diabetes.


    Thus far, the media coverage of Halle's pregnancy has only scratched the surface when describing the complication of diabetes. The main quote I've read states that Halle is very excited, but also scared because she knows that diabetes can cause problems during pregnancy.


    Of course, this is a perfectly natural and logical fear. However, as a fellow pregnant diabetic, I'd hope that further coverage illuminates that despite the threat of complications, diabetic mothers can (and do) have successful pregnancies.


    Fear should be a very small part of our experience with diabetes and pregnancy. During the last six months, and in fact the year prior to conceiving, my main feeling has been empowerment. As modern diabetics, we have so many tools at our disposal to help us achieve a healthy pregnancy. Sure, complications can arise, as they do for mothers without diabetes, but with determination and knowledge we are very powerful in our quest for healthy babies.


    In other diabetes and pregnancy news, now that the winter flu season is around the corner, it's time for diabetics (with or without a baby on board) to receive their annual flu shot! According to USA Today, a low percentage of pregnant women have traditionally received flu shots. The numbers quoted are anywhere from 13 percent to 40 percent.


    I would imagine that figure is drastically different for diabetic pregnancies, since most people with diabetes are urged to get their annual flu shot. The benefit for pregnant women with diabetes is clear. Having the flu is dangerous for diabetics because of the risk for high blood glucose, dehydration, and ultimately ketoacidosis. These risks are heightened when you're carrying a child who would also suffer from all of those problems should their mother come down with the flu.


    I, for one, despise shots. I know, I'm diabetic -- it's a little ridiculous! I put off getting a flu shot while I was in college, but have been faithfully receiving a flu shot for the last five years. Since I haven't caught the flu during this period, I'm a big believer in flu shots and will be sure to ask my doctor about it at my appointment next Monday.


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Published On: September 20, 2007