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
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
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.