Diabetes in Pregnancy Program at UnityPoint Health - Meriter

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Diabetes in Pregnancy Program

Specialized Diabetes Management

The Center for Perinatal Care offers specialized care management for women with diabetes. Our Diabetes in Pregnancy Program helps women with all types of diabetes to obtain glucose control before conception, during pregnancy and after delivery.

Successful diabetes management is reached through open communication, frequent contact and the dedication of both patient and provider. Patients have direct access to providers through individual appointments, direct telephone encounters, MyUnityPoint (MyChart), as well as group classes. Each woman's care is tailored to her needs and goals with cutting edge strategies. Our program uses the best and most up-to-date resources for glucose monitoring, insulin delivery and glucose control. Our Certified Diabetes Educator is an advanced practice nurse who works with each patient to develop an individualized plan for diabetes management. We are dedicated to helping women find strategies to meet their goals.

Pre-pregnancy Counseling

Having a baby and deciding to become a parent is a big decision. Most women with diabetes have healthy babies, but pregnancy can be a challenging time for the woman with diabetes. Insulin needed during pregnancy varies and increases throughout pregnancy. It is important that glucose levels be in a normal range to reduce the risk of complications to mother and baby. Getting the right facts about pregnancy and diabetes is vital to reduce the risk of problems and to anticipate the demands of a high-risk pregnancy. Learning about the care that is involved for diabetes during pregnancy can help women make informed decisions about when to have a baby, how to plan for a healthy pregnancy, and what to expect during pregnancy.

The Diabetes in Pregnancy Program helps women greatly reduce the risk of problems during pregnancy. We recommend pre-pregnancy counseling for all women with diabetes that is preexisting including pre-diabetes, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and cystic fibrosis related diabetes. Improving glucose control to near normal levels pre-pregnancy can decrease risk for miscarriage and birth defects associated with diabetes. Our program will help you achieve these targets. For more information about our Diabetes Pre-Pregnancy Counseling, please review our brochure. If you are interested in having diabetes pre-pregnancy counseling, contact your doctor for a referral to the Center for Perinatal Care.

Diabetes Pre-Pregnancy Counseling Brochure

Diabetes Education*

Education is vital to the success of your diabetes management. For women that develop gestational diabetes, a group Gestational Diabetes Class is offered weekly. Individual visits with our Certified Diabetes Educator and dietitian are also available to women with all type of diabetes.

The Diabetes Self-Management Program has been recognized by the American Diabetes Association for Quality Self-Management Education*. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I have had diabetes for many years. Why do I need to meet with a diabetes educator and/or a dietitian? 
Diabetes management during pregnancy is much more challenging. Insulin needs may double or triple during pregnancy due to changing hormones. Certain strategies that have worked to manage your diabetes prior to pregnancy will no longer be effective. A baby needs you have normal glucose levels to prevent problems during pregnancy.

Our Certified Diabetes Educator provides most of the medical management for your diabetes during pregnancy and will only provide education as appropriate. She has access to a variety of resources and strategies that will help you achieve goals you may have never thought you could before and will need to meet for a healthy pregnancy.

If I had gestational diabetes before, do I need to go through the class or visits with this pregnancy? 
Each woman and pregnancy is unique. In this situation, an individual visit may be more appropriate. Our goal is to tailor the care to the woman's needs.

What is the a1c goal for conception?

  • 6.5 or less. 

What is the a1c goal once I am pregnant? 

  • 6 or less.

What are the blood glucose goals during pregnancy? 

  • Fasting or pre-meal: 70-95
  • 1 hour post-meal: 70-130
  • 2 hours post-meal: 70-120

The low threshold is not needed for anyone not on medication or insulin. The 130 at 1 hour is for women with gestational diabetes.


Patient and Family Guide Pre-Existing Diabetes and Pregnancy
CDC Pre-existing Diabetes and Pregnancy

External Websites


Need a resource for diabetes care and not planning a pregnancy?