Diabetic educators are certified by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators. They help patients deal with the challenge of diabetes before and during pregnancy and provide ongoing support.

Women who have diabetes have a higher chance of having a baby with problems. Good blood sugar control can reduce the risk. The goal of diabetes education is to improve the outcome of the pregnancy of women who have diabetes. Every woman referred to Regional Obstetrical Consultants for diabetes sees the Certified Diabetes Educator. These women may have Type 1, Type 2, or gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is the type that develops in pregnancy in women who did not previously have diabetes. Women who have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), insulin resistance, and problems with glucose tolerance or metabolic syndrome should also see the diabetic educator because these women often develop gestational diabetes,

When a woman with diabetes first comes to see the Diabetes Educator, questions are asked to find out how much she already knows about diabetes. Even women who are already diabetic before pregnancy need special teaching about how pregnancy changes blood sugar control and the effects of diabetes on the developing baby.

The diabetes education includes information on what causes diabetes, desirable levels of blood sugar during pregnancy, meal planning to achieve these desirable levels, blood sugar testing at home, and problems related to elevated to blood sugars. What to expect after the pregnancy is also addressed.

Women with diabetes are followed at Regional Obstetrical Consultants by reporting their blood sugars to the Diabetes Education Nurse one to two times per week. This follow-up is very important so that decisions can be made weekly about adjusting diet or medication. Women who have diabetes before they were pregnant will need regular changes in medication due to rising hormone levels in pregnancy. Many women with Gestational Diabetes are able to control their blood sugars by diet. Others must take medication.

The Diabetes Education Nurse is available any time during office hours if a patient has problems or has questions. When the patient works together with the Diabetes Educator and Nurse, this increases the chance for a healthy baby.

Linda Long is a registered Nurse who graduated from Baroness Erlanger Hospital School of Nursing. The majority of her nursing career has been in Medical-Surgical nursing. In 2001, her focus turned to diabetes. She passed the National Certification Exam for diabetes educators in October 2001. She began her practice in Diabetes Education at that time and joined Regional Obstetrical Consultants in April 2002.

Regional Obstetrical Consultants serving mothers and babies throughout Southeast Tenn, North GA and Western NC.
902 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN
(423) 664-4460 | (866) 4HI-RISK