Timing of Delivery
Your health care team will consider your health, your baby’s health, and the state of your pregnancy in deciding how and when delivery should occur. Some doctors prefer to deliver babies of women with diabetes 1 or 2 weeks before their due dates to lower the risk of problems. Your doctor may recommend inducing labor before your due date or delivering the baby surgically using a cesarean section, also called a c-section. However, most women with diabetes have the option of delivering vaginally. You’ll want to talk with your health care team about your options well ahead of time.
The factors your health care team will consider in deciding what type of delivery is best for you and your baby may include
“I talked with my doctor way before I was due about my options for delivering my baby.”
- your baby’s size and position
- your baby’s lung maturity
- your baby’s movements
- your baby’s heart rate
- the amount of amniotic fluid
- your blood glucose and blood pressure levels
- your general health
Blood Glucose Control During Labor and Delivery
Keeping your blood glucose levels under control helps ensure your baby won’t have low blood glucose after birth. Because you’ll be physically active when you’re in labor, you may not need much insulin. Hospital staff will check your blood glucose levels frequently. Some women take both insulin and glucose, as well as fluids, through an intravenous (IV) line during labor. Infusing insulin and glucose directly into your bloodstream through a vein provides good control of blood glucose levels. If you are using an insulin pump, you might continue to use it throughout labor.
If you are having a c-section, your blood glucose levels may increase because of the stress of surgery. Your health care team will closely monitor your blood glucose levels and will likely use an IV for insulin and glucose to keep your levels under control.
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