Do you have type 1 diabetes? According to new research from Denmark, good control of your blood sugar during pregnancy might make a difference in how well your child does at school.
The study found that children born to women with good control of their blood sugar tended to have better than average grades as compared to their peers in the general population. This was particularly true for the children of women who maintained good blood sugar control during their first trimester of pregnancy.
But the reverse was also true. Children whose mothers had poor control of their diabetes before and during pregnancy, had lower grades. The poorer the control, the worse children did in school when they were compared to children of women without diabetes.
It is, however, not clear if exposure to high blood sugar levels during pregnancy affected children’s brains directly, or if family factors that affected the mothers’ ability to control their blood sugar also influenced the children’s cognitive development.
Controlling diabetes before and during pregnancy
“Good diabetes control prior to and during pregnancy is important as it lowers the risk of birth defects, preeclampsia, preterm delivery, large birthweight babies, and low blood sugar in newborn babies,” says Dr Florence Brown, director of the Joslin Diabetes Center – Beth Israel Deaconess Diabetes and Pregnancy Program in Boston, US.
If you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus, your pregnancy is considered high risk. This means you are more prone to complications during pregnancy and when giving birth. It also means you need to pay special attention to your health and lifestyle, and may need to consult a doctor who specialises in diabetes.
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