The Final Weeks of Pregnancy- Pregnant with Type 1 Diabetes

"Birth And Beyond" Part 5

Katherine Marple

| Nov 9, 2011

Final weeks of pregnancy! The third trimester brings about many more ultrasound scans and measurements taken to judge the growth and health of your child. You'll likely be visiting your OB/GYN or maternal fetal medicine office twice per week for non-stress tests to ensure that your baby is healthy and active.

Between weeks 28 and 36, many women notice a sudden growth spurt in their baby's measurements. My baby suddenly went from measuring "right on target" to being deemed a "big baby" around week 32. In my conversations with other type 1 mothers, I learned that they too saw a sudden growth spurt during this time.

I know that as women with diabetes , we are very sensitive when it comes to our babies' weight in the womb. We try so hard and are very dedicated to bringing these babies into the world, proving that our diabetes does not affect every outcome in our lives. But sometimes we still become demoralized by the assumptions about diabetes and pregnancy.

My own A1C was stellar throughout pregnancy, including the six months before attempting to conceive. I was steady in the 6.5% range throughout the first half of pregnancy, bringing it down even farther, to below 6.0%, in the last weeks. I had very few fluctuations in my glucose readings and was testing so often that even if my blood sugar jumped suddenly, I was correcting and bringing it back down to range within one hour. Surely it can't be said that my baby's birth weight of 9.4 pounds was due to my diabetes.

When my doctors noted my baby's growth spurt around week 32 and told me that she was going to be a big baby, my first thought was that it was my fault. I mentally badgered myself for the infrequent 200 readings and begrudged my diabetes for taking part in my pregnancy even when I was trying so hard to not allow it to affect my baby. I felt like my doctors and family would judge me, blaming her higher-than-average weight on my illness and assuming that I was in poor control of my blood glucose.

But, I knew the truth. I knew that my glucose was as close to a "normal" person's as it had ever been and that I was doing everything I could to keep my baby healthy and strong. As it turned out, my baby was very strong. She withstood 21 hours of labor and an emergency C-section. I also had pre-eclampsia for the last three weeks of pregnancy, causing my own body to swell nearly beyond its capacity.

At just two days old, my baby was picking up her head with her strong neck muscles to look around. At six weeks old (the age she is as I'm writing this), she is the most active and alert newborn I've ever seen. It is still undecided if my child's above-average birth weight was due to my diabetes or genetics. Though my and my husband's birth weights were average, my older brother weighed nearly 10 pounds at birth, although my mother had no signs even of gestational diabetes.

The point is not to point fingers or to lay blame on anyone or anything. There are still so many things we don't understand about this disease. Every day, medical communities are discovering something new. Managing type 1 diabetes while pregnant is very difficult. The fact that you've made it to the third trimester is astounding. Don't allow anyone (even yourself) to make you feel anything less than what you are.

As mentioned above, I experienced pre-eclampsia during the last weeks of my pregnancy. I will discuss those symptoms in Article Six.

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: A1C, Blood Glucose, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes, Gestation, Gestational Diabetes, Losing weight, Poor Control, Pre-Eclampsia, Pregnancy, Third Trimester, Type 1 Diabetes, Type 1 Issues

Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12th Annual Product Reference Guide
  • Insulin Syringe Chart
  • Insulin Pen Needles Chart
  • Fast-Acting Glucose
  • Sharps Disposal
  • Blood Glucose Meters Chart
  • Insulin Pumps Chart
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter

Top Rated
Print | Email | Share | Comments (4)

You May Also Be Interested In...


Posted by Anonymous on 9 November 2011

Wow Katherine...I have read all the articles this is the first time I have decided to comment. As Lynne and I are trying for children and I am considered "pre-diabetic" I am obviously concerned. You should look into turning this into a book and maybe get you on Dr Oz or something...

Posted by Anonymous on 9 November 2011

I have type 1 diabetes and have 2 kids, both pregnancies went great and my daughter was 8 lbs. 1 oz. and my son was 7 lbs. 3 oz. I have very tight control of my blood sugars though. I remained at 6.0 or lower before conceiving and during both pregnancies. I struggled more with my 2nd child than the first as far as controlling my blood sugars, but my A1C's were still great. Near the end of both pregnancies I started requiring less insulin, so the doctors decided to induce me by breaking my water with both pregnancies. My daughter was born at 38-1/2 weeks and my son at 37-1/2 weeks, still full-term for both. Just wanted to let people know, it can be done, even with type 1 diabetes. Thank the Lord for my insulin pump, it made it so much easier.

Posted by Anonymous on 14 December 2011

Wow Thank you Kathryn am a type 1 diabetes and i have been so worried about getting pregnant. Infact, i had given up on being pregnant, but worse is that i thoght having diabetes affects getting pregnant. But now i will give it a shot. Am am inspired and so ready

Posted by Anonymous on 26 January 2013

I am also Type 1 & pregnant with my 3rd. I totally agree with you...I am a worrier. I test ALL the time & adjust accordingly and as I am just about 28 weeks now, I have really just become huge. My last hBA1C was 6.3mmol, but suddenly my sugars are going up in the last week. I don't know if it's stress from writing 30 report cards (& sitting for LONG periods of time to write them)...but I feel worried/guilty any time things don't go as planned. As people comment, attempting to be subtle with the..."how much longer do you have?" - expressing, "HOLY SMOKES, you're huge!", I feel self-conscious. Most people are just commenting on my size - but knowing full-well how heightened sugars affects the size of my babies, I say, "Well my hBA1C is awesome. So if I'm big it's just crappy genetics, compounded by having diabetes."
My mom had 4 kids & we were all 8+ pounds except one sibling was over 9.3lbs (& my 5'1" mom was not diabetic).
Anyhoodly...thanks for relating. It is just SOOO stressful being diabetic & pregnant - particularly when your sugars, despite TONS of effort, don't go perfectly. I have adjusted my basal TONS this past week...and I continue to need to do so.
I have 2 healthy boys though...even though they were whoppers. Can't wait to meet our newest baby. Hopefully I can get rid of some stress (& illness too VERY soon!) :)

Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...

Username: Password:
©1991-2015 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.