Episode #31 of the Charged podcast
Diabetes in Pregnancy Program
Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, Suite 4F
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Most appointments for the Diabetes in Pregnancy Program are scheduled on Monday afternoons at Mass General’s main campus in Boston.
To make an appointment, please contact the Obstetrics Program and request an appointment with the Diabetes in Pregnancy Program. You do not need to be an existing Mass General patient to be seen by our program. If you have not previously seen a doctor at Mass General or the Mass General Brigham network, you must register as a patient before making an appointment.
About This Treatment Program
About the Diabetes in Pregnancy Program
The Diabetes in Pregnancy Program (DIPP) at Mass General is a collaborative program that brings together the Obstetrics Program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Diabetes Unit in the Endocrinology Division.
The DIPP provides comprehensive care for pregnant women with diabetes of all types, including type 1, type 2, gestational diabetes and other rare types. We also provide pre-conception consultations for women with diabetes who are thinking of getting pregnant.
Integrated Obstetric and Diabetes Care
As a DIPP patient, you receive your obstetric and endocrine care together in one place.
Even if your diabetes is well controlled before you get pregnant, pregnancy can change how your body reacts to certain treatments. Your diabetes can also have a big impact on your pregnancy. With the latest medical treatments, women with diabetes can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.
The DIPP team includes:
- High-risk pregnancy specialists
- Nurses with specialized training
The DIPP team will follow you throughout your pregnancy and birth to ensure that you and your baby receive the best possible care.
The DIPP includes a multidisciplinary team of clinicians who specialize in treating pregnant women with diabetes to ensure you receive the most appropriate care for you. In addition to physicians, our team also includes nurse Chrissy Faitel, RN, and nutritionist Stacey Nelson, RD.
Diabetes & Pregnancy Resources
Learn more about how pregnancy changes the way your diabetes affects your body.
Read a Q&A with the DIPP directors to learn more about the services we offer for patients.
Gestational Diabetes Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)?
A. Gestational diabetes mellitus is high blood sugar that develops during pregnancy. In pregnancy, the placenta makes hormones that make it harder for the pregnant person’s body to respond to insulin. Insulin normally lowers blood sugar. If the pregnant person’s body can’t make enough insulin to counteract the effect of the pregnancy hormones, they will develop high blood sugar.
Q. How is gestational diabetes diagnosed?
A. All pregnant people take a blood sugar test between 24-28 weeks. The test consists of drinking a sugary drink and then your blood is tested one hour later. If your result is high, you’ll take another test that is longer (3 hours) and has more blood draws. If this test is also high, you’ll be diagnosed with gestational diabetes and talk with your care team about how to manage it and stay healthy for the rest of your pregnancy.
Q. If I’m diagnosed with gestational diabetes, how can I manage it?
A. You can manage it by modifying your diet and avoiding meals that raise your blood sugar. You’ll keep a food journal to log your meals and test your blood sugar after every meal. If modifying your diet doesn’t keep your blood sugar within a safe range, there are medications we can prescribe. Keeping your blood sugars in the target range decreases the risk that you will have complications from gestational diabetes, like high blood pressure, having a large baby, needing a cesarean delivery, or having a baby with low blood sugars that need treatment after birth.
Q. Can I do anything to avoid developing gestational diabetes?
A. Eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight can lower your risk of getting GDM. But some people get GDM even if they do all these things. Your genetics, how the pregnancy hormones affect your body, and whether you are having twins can all affect your risk of GDM.
Q. Is my pregnancy considered high-risk if I develop gestational diabetes? If I’m currently seeing a midwife for my prenatal care, can I continue to see them?
A. Being diagnosed with GDM does not necessarily mean your pregnancy is considered high-risk, but it does mean you will need additional monitoring. If your gestational diabetes can be managed with diet and exercise, you can probably continue your prenatal care with your midwife. Your care team, in collaboration with the Diabetes in Pregnancy team, can answer more specific questions about how your particular diagnosis impacts your ongoing prenatal care.
Q. Will gestational diabetes change my labor and delivery options?
A. Gestational diabetes increases the chance of having a larger baby which can be harder to deliver vaginally and may make it more likely for you to have a c-section. Some babies have other issues when they are born such as low blood sugar or breathing problems after birth. These babies might need extra care from the pediatricians.
Q. If I get gestational diabetes does that mean I’ll develop diabetes later in life?
A. Developing gestational diabetes does increase the risk the pregnant person could develop preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure during pregnancy. Pregnant people who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes are also at increased risk of getting Type 2 diabetes, another type of diabetes, later in life. GDM tends to go away after the pregnancy ends. However, it’s important to get tested to make sure–typically 6 weeks after delivery and on an ongoing basis every 1-3 years by your primary care doctor.