Unplanned Pregnancy - How high is too high?

I’m 24, Type 1 diabetic for 12 years. Have always had poor control but it has gotten better with time. My last hba1c was 8 or 9 from memory.
Anyway, I found out today that I’m pregnant. I’ve never done too much research into type 1 diabetes and pregnancy as I’ve never even considered trying to get pregnant, but I’ve spent all day researching and what I’ve found is kind of scary. Research papers seem to show that there is a pretty good chance of birth defects etc but then I see a lot of positive stories from T1 diabetic’s who have also had unplanned pregnancies with poorly controlled BG at the time of conception.
Trying to decide if I should terminate or not… I have no idea how pregnant I am, or what my hba1c currently is. How high is too high and how far along is too late?

I’m neither young nor female, but I’ve lived with T1D for a long time. You are faced with a difficult decision. No matter what choice you make regarding the pregnancy I urge you to use your current circumstance as a wake up call to take your diabetes seriously. There is a lot of help available for people who want to control their diabetes well.

In thel last 30 years or so, there has been a growing population of healthy T1D mothers and their babies. This wasn’t the case a few generations back. You must, however, take immediate steps to get you blood sugar under better control.

I’m not here to judge or preach but I am hopeful that you can deliver a healthy baby if you take immediate steps. It’s not easy but it is possible. In any case, you have the rest of your life to consider. You can turn things around but you don’t have unlimited time. I wish you the best of luck.

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i am also a male, also a long time type 1. I will understand if you wish to discount my words. there is one other thing as well, I am, the child of a person with gestational diabetes who later became a type 1. (mom was likely type 1 while she carried me, but this was the 50’s so who knows).

Mom always regretted she did not have better blood sugar control while she was carrying me. I was a very large baby and that was a difficulty to both of us, more mom than I. I agree with Terry please take this as a wake up call.

Is there a simple answer to this terribly complex issue? No I do not believe there is. if It helps I am thrilled I was born, thrilled I have my mom in my life and thrilled to have lived 58 years. None of the issues I have Type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or others are proved to be associated with my moms pregnancy. Nor are they shown to be inexpedient of her pregnancy either.

No matter, she is my mom.

I wish you the very best.


Unfortunately, sometimes it takes something dramatic to convince yourself to gain better control. For me it was complications.I’m female, and of baby-having age, but can’t offer any specific advice. I’ve not discussed pregnancy with my endo as SO and I do not want children. What I can tell you about is regaining control! My best advice is to start slow. I realize that there is baby involved, but trying to go from nothing to everything in a day may set you up for failure. Make goals for yourself. Make an appointment with an OB/GYN and with an Endo. Then feel accomplished. Start checking your blood sugars more often, and let yourself be proud. Take steps to better diabetes control, not one huge jump.

Unplanned pregnancies can be a challenge for any woman, and of course, here’s diabetes to make it even more challenging. Do you have a support network? Are you close with your family, friends, the baby’s father? Reach out to those who are close to you (and us, of course), you aren’t in this alone.

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There is a great facebook group called “Type 1 Diabetes and Pregnancy”. It is a closed group, but they approve requests to join very quickly. I would advise you to get on there and talk to some of the moms who started off with very high a1cs. Recently I read a post from someone who brought herself down to the 6’s from the 9’s and there are many other ladies with stories like that. Don’t let the “risks” of defects scare you. If you want to have the baby, have the baby. There’s no reason you can’t work with your doctors to get your blood sugars more in control.

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Thank you for this response, @Sumattox. I felt so under-qualified to respond. Great advice!

Thanks for the advice guys, it’s a complex decision, and it’s looking pretty likely that I won’t go through with the pregnancy. Mostly because I have no real support network and a diabetic pregnancy would be taxing emotionally. I had my hba1c done and get the results Tuesday. My last was 57 (which I think is like 8.5ish?) so it’s not as terrible as I thought and I can definitely bring it down and then hopefully when I’m actually ready to have a child I won’t be stressing about it being born with dolphin feet (made the mistake of googling caudal dysplasia). Also had an ultrasound and all it showed was some footage from Mars Rover and a 3mm “pregnancy sac” so i’m apparently only 4 weeks along. Anyway, nice to know it’s not a lost cause if I have a change of heart before now and Tuesday.

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i think you’re making a very well thought-out decision. when you are ready to have a baby, just remember that many mothers, even though they have tried to be the healthiest they can, still give birth to children that require much more care than the average child because of autism, learning disabilities, or whatever. so it’s imperative that when you are ready to have a baby, you are as prepared as can be, with a loving father for the baby, a support network, financial resources, etc, so that that baby will have a chance to live a happy life.

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