Healthcare provider and patient discussing type 2 diabetes and pregnancy

Can a Woman With Type 2 Diabetes Get Pregnant?

Written on December 22, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, MS, RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

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Type 2 diabetes is a common condition across the world. Many women wonder if they can get pregnant if they have type 2 diabetes. Read this article for everything you need to know.

What Is Type 2 Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that occurs when the body is not able to use carbohydrates, or glucose, as fuel.[1] This can result in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream, which can lead to several health concerns. In people with type 2 diabetes, two primary issues occur from a physiological standpoint. The first is that the pancreas is not producing enough insulin to meet the demands of the carbs and sugars coming in. The second issue is that the cells are not able to respond to the insulin that the pancreas produces and take in less glucose.[1] As such, blood sugar levels remain elevated after eating and do not come back down to safe or normal levels.

Type 2 diabetes needs to be properly managed with the help of a healthcare provider, as there can be several complications if blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled for long periods of time. Some of these complications include [1]:

  • Blood vessel diseases
  • Nerve damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Eye damage
  • Skin infections
  • Poor healing
  • Cognitive decline

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes through appropriate testing with a healthcare provider, the next steps are to seek the relevant treatment. Typically, treatment plans can also include modifications to diet and lifestyle habits.

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How Does Type 2 Diabetes Affect Pregnancy?

Some women wonder, can a woman with type 2 diabetes get pregnant? The short answer is yes. However, there are additional considerations during pregnancy for a woman with type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes and have recently found out that you are pregnant, it is important to consult a healthcare provider to ensure that you and your baby are safe and that your blood sugar levels are being appropriately managed.

Type 2 diabetes can lead to additional complications during pregnancy, such as [2]:

  • Birth defects: If a woman does not manage blood sugar levels during pregnancy, it can lead to birth defects for the growing baby, as uncontrolled blood sugar levels can affect the development of the brain, spine, and heart during early pregnancy.
  • Birth size: Uncontrolled type 2 diabetes can also affect a baby’s birth weight, often causing a baby to be born larger than what is typical. In this instance, a woman may need to have a C-section to deliver the baby.
  • Preeclampsia: This refers to high blood pressure, protein in the urine, and swelling of the fingers and toes. This condition needs to be monitored by a healthcare provider.
  • Premature birth: Having type 2 diabetes may increase the likelihood that a baby is born prematurely.

How to Manage Type 2 Diabetes And Pregnancy

If you have type 2 diabetes and want to become pregnant, you can take steps to better optimize outcomes. If you want to become pregnant soon, talk with a healthcare provider about managing your diabetes in a way that will help you to have a more successful pregnancy. If you are currently on diabetes medication, it is also important to discuss this with a healthcare provider, as some medications may need to be adjusted or stopped during pregnancy.

If you are trying to conceive and can better optimize your blood sugar, body composition, food intake, and movement routine, this will likely help you to be more successful with conception.[3] While this can sometimes feel overwhelming, enlisting a well-rounded care team who can provide you with stepwise adjustments helps optimize outcomes.

Once you become pregnant, it is important to consume a well-balanced diet during your pregnancy. During pregnancy, you will need an increased amount of nutrients, so it is important to get enough of nutrient-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, calcium-rich foods, protein-rich foods, and whole grains. Formulating your meals and snacks around these food groups may also help to naturally manage blood sugar levels. If you need more personalized guidance, it is recommended to work with a dietitian as part of your care team over the course of your pregnancy.

Support Your Overall Health With Everlywell

At Everlywell, we combine the best in modernized, rigorous lab testing with easy-to-access at-home medicine. We provide a range of blood tests, including our hemoglobin A1c test that you can take from the comfort of your home. Your results will be analyzed in CLIA-certified labs and an experienced healthcare provider will deliver your results. Take control of your blood sugar, fertility, and overall health today with Everlywell.

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  1. Type 2 diabetes - Symptoms and causes. Mayo Clinic. Published March 14, 2023. Accessed December 4, 2023.
  2. Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes and pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.,will%20get%20worse%20during%20pregnancy. Published July 14, 2022. Accessed December 4, 2023.
  3. Mfa JHM Mph. Can you have a safe pregnancy if you have type 2 diabetes? Healthline. Published November 21, 2018. Accessed December 4, 2023.
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