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Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital

Diabetes in Pregnancy Program

Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) offers a program for women who have any type of diabetes before, during or after pregnancy. The Diabetes in Pregnancy Program is unique to the region and provides specialized care for women with gestational diabetes or chronic diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes in pregnancy can cause significant problems and is increasingly more common. LVHN’s Diabetes in Pregnancy Program (DIPP) and Comprehensive Diabetes in Pregnancy Program (CDIPP) each provides leading-edge care for women with this condition. We can reduce the chance for diabetes-related complications during your baby’s development in the womb.

Team approach to caring for pregnancy diabetes

Caring for gestational diabetes requires a team of experts who work together to provide the right kind of care at crucial moments in your pregnancy. Our maternal fetal medicine specialists (perinatologists) lead this program and work with:

  • Doctors who treat hormonal imbalances (endocrinologists)
  • Specially trained diabetes nurse practitioners
  • Dietitians
  • Diabetes educators

Together, we help you understand your condition and make necessary lifestyle adjustments to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Pre-existing diabetes

Women who already have chronic diabetes mellitus when they become pregnant have pre-existing diabetes. How diabetes impacts the pregnancy often depends on the severity of the mother's diabetic disease, especially if she has vascular (blood vessel) complications and poor blood glucose (sugar) control.

If you have been diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, it is important that you speak with your doctor before becoming pregnant so they can refer you to the Comprehensive Diabetes in Pregnancy Program (CDIPP). Together, we will review your medications because some may not be safe for a developing baby. We will also discuss how to best control your blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

Additionally, you may need fetal testing and monitoring through LVHN’s Prenatal Diagnosis and Testing program, especially if you are taking insulin.
 

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes mellitus (gestational diabetes) refers to diabetes developed during pregnancy. It may occur even though a woman wasn’t previously diagnosed with diabetes. This form of diabetes usually disappears following delivery. However, for approximately 2 percent of women, it does not – and they end up having lifelong diabetes.

Unlike type 1 diabetes, insulin resistance causes gestational diabetes. Insulin resistance occurs when other hormones produced during pregnancy make insulin less effective. Although any woman can develop this condition, related risk factors include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Prior birth of a baby that weighed more than 9 pounds
  • Being older than 25
  • Being African-American, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino or Pacific Islander
  • Having prediabetes (impaired glucose tolerance) 

If your obstetrics provider feels you are at risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy, he or she may refer you to our Diabetes in Pregnancy Program.

Care before, during and after pregnancy.

Choose from board-certified obstetricians and maternal fetal medicine specialists to deliver the care you need.

Find a doctor

High-risk pregnancy care

LVHN offers leading-edge maternal fetal medicine services – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – for high-risk pregnancies.

Learn more