Planning for Pregnancy When You Are Diabetic

Kelsey Bonilla Health Guide
  • There's nothing typical about having a baby with you have diabetes, and the abnormalities start right at the beginning.  When I casually mentioned to friends and co-workers that I had my "preconception consultation" appointment last week, I saw many blank faces. 


    "A what?" they'd ask. 


    "An appointment with my doctor to see if I'm ready to start trying to conceive," I responded, all the while thinking it's so odd that something completely normal to me sounds so foreign to most other people. 


    I'm beginning another journey through diabetic pregnancy and I'm very excited!  As I've mentioned several times before, I absolutely loved being pregnant and felt the deepest personal fulfillment at having a healthy pregnancy despite living 15 years with type 1 diabetes.  I love my doctor, my Certified Diabetes Educator, the academic hospital they're affiliated with, the routine of tightly managing my blood sugars, and of course all of the regular pregnancy joys. 

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:


    So, last week, Dennis, Sienna, and I attended the preconception consultation.  I was looking forward to re-introducing Sienna to the wonderful team that kept us so healthy.  I told her all week, "You're going to meet the people who helped me have you!"  However, kids often don't easily fit into adult schedules; since Sienna missed her afternoon nap she was fussy and tired for most of the visit.  Dennis took Sienna out to practice her newest skill (walking!) while I got some uninterrupted consultation time with the doctor and CDE. 


    My last A1C was 5.9% so basically I was given the green light to conceive whenever we're ready.  We're actually planning to wait until the end of the summer to try, so I'll have another A1C test drawn next month to make sure I'm still in an acceptable range.  I reported that I'd just had a dilated eye exam and the eye doctor said there's no sign of retinopathy.   (Pregnancy can further complicated diabetic eye problems, so they stress the importance of dilated eye exams before and during pregnancy.) 


    We also discussed my current diet, which has become much healthier since I cut out nearly all processed foods.  I'm eating mostly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins.  I've noticed a significant improvement in my blood sugar control and a huge boost in energy since I've made the switch.   For the pregnancy, I'll have to reduce my carbohydrate intake, particularly in the morning, but we agreed this diet will be beneficial for me, the baby, and my overall pregnancy weight gain!


    Pregnancy and the first year of motherhood require a significant surrender of a women's body, so I'm taking the next few months to mentally prepare for the start of another pregnancy.  Although I've been through the birth of one child, I know that the second time will be different in so many ways; for one thing, I have a toddler to care for too!  I'm hoping to just draw on my experience from Sienna's pregnancy and stay flexible for whatever the next baby has to offer.  


    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:

    Read more on Kelsey's pregnancy planning here!

Published On: May 27, 2009