Why to Plan Pregnancy with Your Diabetes Health Team

Women with diabetes are more likely to have healthy pregnancies if they attend a clinic to learn how to prepare for pregnancy before they conceive, according to a new Irish study.

The study took place from 2006 to 2014 and monitored the medical outcomes of 414 pregnancies of women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, according to a Healio report. Of that group, 111 women with Type 1 and 38 women with Type 2 elected to take part in the clinic

Researchers found the women who attended the clinic made healthier choices during pregnancy, and had more structured prenatal care. The children born to these women also were eight percent less likely to have negative medical outcomes after birth. That may seem like only modest improvement, but the women who attended the clinic also tended to be older than the women who declined to attend, and, statistically, younger women have better medical outcomes than older women with pregnancy.

The study was a sampling of the results of the Atlantic Diabetes in Pregnancy program, which tracked 11,000 births among women with diabetes Ireland annually. In another study of the program, researchers found that women with Type 1 who took part saw a 0.66 percent reduction in A1C scores during the first trimester. Stillbirths and defects were also reduced for children of women with diabetes who went through the program.

The results from these studies show why women with Type 1 diabetes might want to consider discussing pregnancy with their health care team before trying for a planned pregnancy.

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Emma Dunn is a Writing, Literature, and Publishing student at Emerson College in Boston. Besides writing for Type2Nation and Insulin Nation, she also writes for the online publication, The Odyssey.

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