Navigating gestational diabetes can be trying, especially knowing that the condition can affect your health and the health of your baby.
This is why at ROC, we offer diabetic education for patients who are dealing with this condition. Our diabetic educators are certified by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators, and they help patients confront the challenges of diabetes before and during pregnancy while providing ongoing support and education. Women with diabetes are at a higher risk of having a baby with health problems; however, effective blood sugar control can help to reduce the risk. This is the entire purpose and goal of our diabetes education program– to improve the outcomes of these higher risk pregnancies for both mother and child.
Working with Our Diabetic Educator
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 first 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 are more likely to 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 information and coaching about how pregnancy changes blood sugar control, as well as 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 blood sugars. We will also address what to expect after the pregnancy to help prepare the patients for good health and success on the road ahead.
Women with diabetes are followed at Regional Obstetrical Consultants by reporting their blood sugars to the diabetes educator one to two times per week. This follow-up is very important so that decisions can be made weekly about adjusting diet or medications. Women who had diabetes before pregnancy will need regular changes in medication due to rising hormone levels. Many women with gestational diabetes are able to control their blood sugars by diet, while others require medication to adequately control the condition. The diabetes educator is available any time during office hours if a patient has problems or has questions. When the patient works collaboratively with our diabetes educator, it helps to increase the likelihood for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.