Pregnant With Pre-Existing Diabetes?
For anyone who has been reading my blog since my engagement three years ago, you know that motherhood has been on my radar for a long time. Longer than marriage. That quest for a decent A1C, that desire for a "normal" pregnancy, and that hope for a happy and healthy baby.
Part of the reason I wanted to write about my pregnancy here on SUM is because there wasn't a lot of information out there about pre-existing diabetes and pregnancy. There was a LOT of information on gestational diabetes (obviously), and type 2 diabetes got some good press, but type 1 was sort of swept under the rug. Thankfully, there were a few diabetes bloggers who had chronicled their journeys, and I wanted to add my voice to that hopeful chorus.
But also thankfully, Cheryl Alkon had taken the topic to her publisher, and she penned the first book on managing pre-existing diabetes and pregnancy. And I'm very honored to have been both featured in her book (as a women preparing for pregnancy) and to have her contributing here on SUM:
Doom and gloom. That was the message I got several years ago when I first thought about trying to have a baby while also dealing with my type 1 diabetes. Whether at the doctor's office, going online, or reading the very few books about the subject, trying to get and be pregnant while managing blood sugars, taking insulin, closely counting carbs (and avoiding a lot of low-carb proteins that were good for blood sugars, but bad for babies-to-be) all sounded like a nearly impossible task. One fraught with higher risks of birth defects, overweight babies, worsened diabetes complications, and more.
But I also saw type 1 friends who had healthy babies and sensed what could be possible. This spurred me to research, craft a book proposal, and eventually devote myself to publishing an insider's guide to pregnancy with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I'm thrilled to say that, five years later, "Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby" was published by Demos Health this spring, and has been enthusiastically welcomed by others who, like me, craved the inside story about how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby while managing diabetes.
I had the pleasure of receiving an advance copy of Cheryl's book just before my baby was born, and even though I was in my third trimester and just weeks away from delivering my daughter, it was so reassuring to read about all the things that could go right. A diabetic pregnancy is a high-risk one, and the challenges can lead to some tough emotional roller coasters and some scary medical experiences (see also: stuck in the hospital for a month) - but these pregnancies can also lead to a healthy, happy baby. (See also: BSparl) Touching on everything from pre-conception to managing the months of the pregnancy to post-delivery recovery and how to wrangle in diabetes control once again, this book was exactly what I needed to read while pregnant with my daughter. I only wish it had gone to press before I had conceived!
If you are a woman with diabetes and you're thinking about becoming pregnant, this book is a good resource for you. If you are the partner of a WWD (woman with diabetes) and you want the full story on how pregnancy and diabetes can mix, this book is a good resource for you, too. And if you are the parent of a woman with diabetes and you want to know that your child can have the same chances of a healthy pregnancy as any other woman, this book is a good resource for you as well.
Cheryl will actually be speaking in Boston in the coming weeks (the first event being THIS WEDNESDAY - sign up!), so if you'd like to hear more from Cheryl in person (and meet my endocrinologist, who consulted on the book with Cheryl), you can attend a discussion this Wednesday. For more details on upcoming events, check out Cheryl's post on her blog.
Thank you, Cheryl, for giving new moms and moms-to-be with diabetes a sense of peace. And congratulations on your BIG ANNOUNCEMENT on your blog today!