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Should you have children if you have diabetes?

There can always be complications with childbirth and pregnancy, and the chances of these problems may increase when the mother has diabetes. However, if these women take precautions during their pregnancies, the risk of birth defects and other complications can be lowered.

According to the American Diabetes Association, the length of time the mother has had diabetes is a factor in how the unborn child might be affected. The baby will also be affected by how well the woman’s diabetes is controlled, and by whether the mother has had any previous complications caused by the diabetes.

The problems could start right at conception, so it’s always better for the soon-to-be mother to get her blood sugar completely under control before actually trying to conceive. The risks to the baby include premature delivery, miscarriage, birth defects, and low blood glucose at birth.

If you are looking to conceive and you have diabetes, your blood glucose goal should be between 60 and 119 mg/dl before eating and 100 to 149 mg/dl one hour after meals and an A1C level less than 6%. However, always be sure to talk to your doctor before conceiving, because every person is unique.

Also, if you go to a pre-pregnancy doctor, he will take measurements of your A1C levels and check you for high blood pressure, heart disease, and other possible complications. As a rule, however, always make sure to keep your blood sugar under control when conceiving, and if not under control, a contraceptive should always be used.

And lastly, before conceiving, create a team of doctors to help you through your pregnancy. This team should include an obstetrician who can handle dangerous pregnancies and is familiar with the dangers of diabetes in mothers. Also ask your doctors all you can about your disease and how to manage your levels to ensure a healthy childbirth.

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