How often should I see the obstetrician if I’m pregnant and have diabetes?

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Patients with insulin dependent diabetes should see their doctor BEFORE they conceive to be sure they are under excellent control before pregnancy. This reduces complications during pregnancy and birth defects. Your doctor will want to see you every couple of weeks early in the pregnancy and likely twice weekly in the late part of the pregnancy for fetal monitoring.
Evelyn Minaya, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)

It depends on what kind of diabetes you have. For example, an insulin-dependent diabetic needs to see the ob more often because as the placenta gets bigger and more mature, the placenta will secrete more human placental lactogen that may make the insulin work less efficiently. A diet-dependent diabetic needs to see her obstetrician more often than a regular patient but less than the patient I just described above. ALL patients need to see a high-risk doctor as a complement to their care (this is also called a perinatologist). They monitor the baby's growth and will also assess the placenta. Usually if there are any medications used to control the diabetes, the perinatologist will adjust the medications.

The important thing to remember when pregnant and a diabetic whether diagnosed before or in the pregnancy, you have to be very good about diet control and exercise!

You’ll need more frequent visits to your obstetrician, perhaps every two weeks for the first part of your pregnancy and weekly during the last month. The reason for these visits is to make sure that your baby is developing as expected and that you stay in good health.

Common Tests During Pregnancy

  • You will be screened for neural tube defects early in pregnancy (around weeks 15–18) by measuring the concentration of alpha-­fetoprotein in your blood.
  • You’ll need an ultrasound test early in your pregnancy (to show when your baby was conceived) and several more throughout your pregnancy to follow the baby’s growth.
  • A fetal echocardiogram may be done around the middle of your pregnancy.
  • Other monitoring includes counting your baby’s movements for an hour each day and fetal movement and heart rate monitoring during the last 6–12 weeks of pregnancy. These tests help ensure your baby’s well-being and will assist your health care team in deciding when to deliver your baby.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.