Association Book Covers Diabetes and Pregnancy
A new book from the American Diabetes Association is aimed at anyone planning to start or grow a family.
Diabetes & Pregnancy touches on many aspects of healthy pregnancy with diabetes, from controlling blood glucose levels before conception to post-birth care for both mothers and babies. Editor David A. Sacks, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist, says the book came together after he worked on a clinical book for obstetricians and other medical professionals who deal with pregnancy and diabetes. "[I thought] if we could boil this down into lay language, we could get across a lot of the messages I've always wished that my patients had when they walked in the door," Sacks says. The result is the ADA's first pregnancy book to cover type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes all in one volume.
The book tackles many topics expectant mothers may face, starting well before pregnancy. Diabetes poses increased risks to both mother and baby, including miscarriage and birth defects. So, physicians strongly urge women to plan ahead for their pregnancies. For women with diabetes, that includes using reliable birth control until blood glucose levels are brought into a safe range and getting the all-clear from doctors before getting pregnant. About half of women with diabetes who conceive do so without planning the pregnancy, Sacks notes. He says that can put mom and baby at greater risk.
However, 90 percent of diabetes cases during pregnancy are gestational—they develop during pregnancy. Women with gestational diabetes can find information in Diabetes & Pregnancy, too, including tips on eating and exercising for two, taking insulin and oral medications, and what to expect during delivery and beyond.
The book also delves into the emotions of coping with diabetes during pregnancy. "I think a lot of other [books] talk about how you can manage it, but they speak to the person as a patient, and not really as a mother," says Rebekah Renshaw, developmental editor of books for the ADA. "A lot of women want to know, 'How is this going to affect my baby?' This focuses on getting you healthy so your baby can be healthy, and doing it in a way that isn't going to scare you. This takes it down to a more personal place."
Available online at shopdiabetes.org.