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Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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Avatar universal

diabetes and pregnancy complications

I am 30 years old and have had type 1 for 23 years. I am 36 weeks pregnant and have developed retinopathy in my left eye. I would love to hear about other diabetic women and their pregnancy experiences since everyone I know has no idea what I am talking about. Please give me some advice, support, whatever I am kind of freaking out. My dr. says delivery could cause blindness.
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I am so sorry -- I personally have no experience with this kind of pregnancy problem. You didn't say how serious the retinopathy is, whether it is just a small background spot or something more serious like proliferative retinopathy whereby the eye grows tiny, even weaker blood vessels to compensate for the ones that have leaked. I DO know, however, that if a small spot shows up and there is no proliferation of blood vessel growth, very tight glucose control can help the body absorb the small leak on its own. It can take a few months, but this can happen if control is extremely tight. But of course it depends on how big the leak is and whether the eye is trying to grow new vessels to compensate. You don't say which doctor told you that delivery could cause blindness, but I would ask both the endocrinologist AND the eye specialist about this issue. And if neither of your doctors is a real specialist, ask to be referred to one who knows more about diabetic conditions.

As for pregnancy, if all other health is good, and glucose control is very tight during the pregnancy, most type 1 women have normal pregnancies. I had two pregnancies, both with healthy deliveries. But do get as many recommendations about this eye problem as your insurance company will allow. At least another opinion is called for, methinks. You want to be well educated about this.

One more thought... is your doctor suggesting that you would be healthier to go with a C-section? Many diabetic women do have C-sections, although the reason is usually because the baby's health may be jeopardized by leaving him or her in the womb until delivery -- many ob gyn doctors like to either induce labor slightly early or do C-sections because sometimes the placenta is damaged by higher than normal blood sugar at the end of the pregnancy and the baby can be harmed if not given proper nourishment in the womb. The pregnancy itself may not be the problem, but the stress of delivery. Both of my babies were induced early, by the way.
Avatar universal
Hi, I am a Type I diabetic for 26 years.  I have two healthy children age 2 and 4yrs and I did not have any problems with my eyes.  I looked it up on the internet and it seemed that retinopathy is very treatable even in pregnant diabetic patients.  In fact it said that it could be treated right before or after delivery.  So, before you freak out I think you should make sure you have all your information from your ob-gyn.  Did he refer you to an eye specialist?   My ob-gyn never tried to scare me, but let me know since I was high risk that complications could arise and therefore keeping very tight control of my glucose readings was very important.  
My pregnancies both resulted in C-sections--the first I was induced and then it was decided a C-section was necessary.  The second was a planned C-section.  I had both children at 38 weeks.  My ob-gyn thought this was best due to my diabetes and I had preeclampsia.  So, I did have some issues with my pregnancies too.  I did fine after I had my children and healed very well because I kept tight control of my blood sugar.  
I want you to know that I am a healthy person with no complications as a result of my pregnancies.  I did have high blood pressure(a result of the preeeclampsi) after both children, but with exercise, good diet and good blood sugar control my blood pressure went back to normal.
I hope this helps and offers you some encouragement!
Avatar universal
Hi! I am a 24 yr old diabeteic. I have had diabetes for 16yrs. I am starting to get the complications from the disease. I have two children, a 4 year old boy and a 10 month old girl. My first pregnancy I had an energency c-section at 36 weeks. He had respiratory distress and was in the hospital for 2 weeks. It felt like 2 years (haha). I had no major problems then, but with my second and last child I had the worst time. I was hospitalized for more than 6 weeks. I had a ruff pregnancy, but my little girl is perfectly healthy. I had a c-section with her too. After having her i began to notice alot of the diabetic complications. I have the neuropathy in my feet and legs, I have retinopathy in my eyes, and I have a serious GI problem, but the doctors don't know what the problem is because no medicine works. Everything I eat runs right through me. I hate it! I never was a big girl. but I can't gain weight for nothing. My starting pregnany weight was 140 and now I am 119. I feel so weak and drained all the time. I have no energy to do anything with my children. It is the worst feeling i the world to see your kids playing and saying to come help them and you can't evan get off the couch without feeling your gonna fall down. I get so lightheaded at times. The retinopathy in my eyes is not too bad yet though. I can still see, but sometimes my left eye gets foggy and bright red. It almost looks like pink eye, but I have went to eye specialist and they said it was from the diabetes. I have tried antibacterial and anti viral drops, but nothing worked o it. Still to this day it will have it's good days and it will have it's bad days. One day is it good and the next it will be bright red and hurt when I blink. There really isn't anything I can do though, except try to keep my sugars in good control. Godd luck with your baby!!!
Avatar universal
Check with your Dr. about "Leaky Gut Syndrome". It's a stomache condition that can develope in diabetics.
Avatar universal
Hello, I am sorry to hear about your situation. First of all it is very important that you see a Dr. that specializes in high risk pregnancies. I have type 1 diabetes and have had 4 healthy pregnancies that all ended  up with healthy children.  The relationship with my Dr was very close and I felt very comfortable asking him anything. Did your doc tell you anything else like if there was something you could do to prevent it? Have you thought about a second opinion? I know it is scary but you are your best advocate! Do some research, talk with your Dr and get a second opinion!  I wish you the best of luck and I will keep you in my prayers!
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