Pregnancy and Diabetes

Expenses. Having a baby is a major financial investment for any parent.  Your pregnancy will include the added expenses involved in tight blood glucose management. But, it used to be worse: Before self-monitoring of blood glucose, a woman could easily spend half of her pregnancy in the hospital. Now the major expenses are fetal monitoring and blood glucose monitoring instead of hospitalizations.

Before you conceive, check with your insurance company about what is covered. Your insurance plan may cover more during your pregnancy with the appropriate documentation.
Some of the items that need to be covered are listed below.

  • You will need to see both your obstetrician and your diabetes health care provider frequently - perhaps every week or every 2 weeks for most of your pregnancy. You will learn to make adjustments in insulin dose based on blood glucose values. This takes time and practice and lots of support from your health care team.
  •   Your health care should include nutrition counseling with a registered dietitian and diabetes education. You will likely learn how to count carbohydrates and adjust insulin doses.
  •   You’ll need to check blood glucose values often to make sure you are within your target ranges. Many pregnant women do seven or more tests each day. Test strips are the big expense in monitoring.
  •   You may need to do ketone monitoring each day. This will protect you against surprise ketoacidosis as well as starvation ketosis, which can occur after a low blood glucose value, when carbohydrate intake is very limited, or when calorie intake is lower than needed. This means buying ketone strips.
  •   If you treat your type 2 diabetes with oral diabetes medications, you’ll probably need to switch to insulin before you become pregnant. This means paying for insulin pens or syringes and insulin, plus training from an educator on how to give insulin and to adjust your dose.

Martha M. Funnell, MS, RN, CDE
Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Robert M. Anderson, EdD
Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center
University of Michigan Medical School
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Shereen Arent, JD
National Director of Legal Advocacy
American Diabetes Association

American Diabetes Association Complete Guide to Diabetes

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