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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.

Buy this book!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!


AAAAAAAAAA! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I leave for my summer vacation on Saturday but will pick this up before I leave!!!!!!

AHHHH perfect! Need to read this before we start working on our family. Thanks so much for posting this!

I put this on my amazon wish list as soon as I heard about it. It seems like something i should read now, even though beebs are still in the future for us. So glad to hear your thoughts on it, Kerri!

Doom and gloom is right. All I hear from my endo and gyno is "don't get pregnant. Take every precaution against getting pregnant" blah blah blahhh...but luckily they are both supportive of me eventually getting pregnant once I am married/in a stable relationship and have my A1C below 7 (which I am close). But I'd rather not have the doom and gloom, I think I'd be taking every precaution even if I wasn't diabetic.... so not ready for babies.

So excited to get and read this book. And thanks to both of you for "putting it out there."

I just ordered my copy directly from Cheryl! So excited to get it! :) Thanks Kerri for letting us know!

Thanks for the amazing blog on diabetes and thanks for the site as a research mechanism.

Hi Keri,

Thank you so much for this entry and all of your entries on WWD, Type 1, and pregnancy. I can't wait to read more! This means the world to me.

The Conscious Diabetic

I'm reading it now :) Thanks for sharing today!

Sounds like a great book, yeah I wanted to write one after I discovered the same thing, when I was pregnant with my first child. Its so annoying for people to think I have type 2 or gestational diabetes, because if I did I would lose weight and control diet to get rid of it. I hate diabetes! Any how, there also needs to be a book about pumping and pregnancy, that can be your next feet. Because my obgyn office wouldn't help with the pump because they said they didn't know how to manage it. Even though its much simpler than shots.

Thanks, everyone, for your nice comments about my book!

Emily, the book definitely addresses pumping with pregnancy (as well as MDI) and pretty much presumes that readers are on, or will be going on, insulin (even with type 2) to help reach the tight blood sugar goals recommended during pregnancy.


My husband and I went to the talk last night and purchased Cheryl's book. I was dx'ed with Type 1 two weeks before we found out we were pregnant, and we've made it through most of our pregnancy with dr. and blog support :) That said, I'm so excited to have a resource that addresses managing all of this postpartum. Thanks for writing about your own experiences, and for hyping up the book! Wish it'd come out a few months ago, but still so happy it's available now.

I just ordered my copy and thank you both sooooo much for doing this! This is our second month of trying for a baby and I found the same problems, and actually looking for help was how I found your blog Kerri, so thank you so much for getting the word out!!

I ordered a copy as well. I just started my pump (ping) this week and follow up with my first visit to the BI/Joslin pregnancy clinic on Monday...I just discovered your blog as I was diagnosed in early March and am so happy I did!
Thank you!

I have been reading your post since I got my pump in March. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August of 2008. For the first few months I cried non-stop because I was afraid I would never have kids. I still have emotional break downs and freak out about it alot but your blog has helped alot! Just like you said, there is not much about pre-existing diabetes and pregnancy. I just wanted to thank you and tell you congrats on your beautiful daughter!

thanks for posting this1 I ordered the book on amazon today

As the daughter of a Type 1, I know how much work and effort goes into having a healthy baby.

My mom did it in 1984 - before the great technology of pumps and CGMs. My mom always tells me the stories of doing her blood sugar what felt like a million times a day. But also how it was worth all the hard work to have a happy healthy baby girl.

To all Type 1'ers out there: I'm proof that you can have a healthy baby. :)

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