Is this normal?

Ok, so, I am a type 1 diabetic and am having my second child (I am 32 weeks along).  My first pregnancy (after a couple of miscarriages) went great (for the baby anyway)!  I had no problems and delivered her vaginally at 39 weeks.  She was 7 lbs. 9 oz.  My A1C during my first pregnancy was around 5.0 or maybe even lower. So.....this pregnancy everything is going great (for the baby) and have had no problems!  Last AC1 was 5.5, so no problems there.  But...for some reason during this pregnancy the ultrasound doctor (not my OB) is telling me I have to have an ultrasound EVERY week until the baby is born so that we know he is ok.  What?!!  I did NOTHING like this with my first baby.  I can't seem to get a straight answer as to why I have to do this now (everything is great, its just because I am diabetic) and I didn't have to do it with my first.  Is it really necessary?  Do other women with diabetes have to do this as well? 

I just wanted to hear what other people had gone through, and find out if this is normal or if they are just trying to get my money?  I want to do what is right for my baby, but I just need to understand it as well.  First's costly, second...its exposing my baby to MULTIPLE ultrasounds, third...I work full time and having to take so much time off work for MULTIPLE doctor appointments every week is taking its toll on me, my job, and my maternity leave time.  It's just insane and so frustrating :(  Being diabetic and pregnant sucks! :'(

Thanks for reading!  It's helped me even just to get it out there :)


in the two OB practices i used for my two pregnancies, i never had weekly ultrasounds. definitely a few extra US's than norm but not every week! every practice follows slightly different guidelines though. i did have to have non stress tests weekly (bi-weekly) after 30 or 32 weeks- not because of complications, just as standard practice for type 1 moms....

Your doctor needs to explain why it's medically necessary.  They can recommend treatment, but you ultimately have to agree to what they suggest.  

I think around week 35 my doctor wanted an ultrasound every week too.  The only reason was to measure the baby's size since diabetics supposedly always have big babies.  If I had it to do over again I would have had an ultrasound at 38 weeks (since that is the point where you're deciding to go to term, induce, or schedule a cesarean) and skipped the other ones.  

Congratulations on your pregnancy!  I hope everything goes well and you have another healthy delivery and baby.  

Take care.   -Jenna

It depends on several things- your hospital, ob, you (I’m a Class C diabetic), what the baby is doing, and your high-risk ob/perinatologist.

Since I was 12 weeks I have seen my high risk ob & regular ob every four weeks, then at 28 weeks it became both every two weeks, then at 32 weeks it became both every week. And the high risk guy (aka perinatologist) has done a sonogram every single time to track baby’s growth and weight gain, development of brain, heart, craniofacial bones, the umbilical cord, etc… We have passed every single “test” with flying colors, so it’s been kinda overkill, but I have appreciated knowing all the extra information.

That being said, at my last appt (I am 33 weeks) my baby was measuring rather large, and the doc was kind of harassing me about my blood sugars. And this entire pregnancy and beforehand the endocrinologist (who I love & trust) has warned me that baby boy could be small and that they’d be carefully monitoring to make sure he was growing. So to me, the fact that his ESTIMATED size is large, is good. Also, I have a friend who sees the same guy (not bc she is diabetic) and at 36 weeks he told her that her daughter would be 10.5-11 lbs. When Miss L arrived at 40w5d, she was 8 lbs 2 oz… You have to take everything with a grain of salt and hear them without accepting it before getting confirmation from multiple sources. My reg ob is perfectly happy with me & baby. My fundal measurement is perfect, and I have only gained 17 lbs, my a1c is 5.7… She’s not worried I’m going to have a enormous baby!

I am going to keep up with the perinatologist for the next 6 weeks, because ultimately he is the one watching baby boy & my placenta & cervix to make sure everything is great, and will be the one to say if I need to be induced early for some reason. I trust his opinion on the baby’s development (the weight is estimated by computer & seems to be wonky), but I take my diabetes cues from my endocrinologist! And he likes that the specialist is seeing me weekly. I am a teacher who resigned at the end of last year to be a stay at home mom, so time isn’t an issue, but I understand the cost. Ask your ob & Endo what they think. Maybe you can get away with every other week?

I think it's pretty standard. From 32 weeks on, I was in the doctor's office a lot. Ultrasounds at the following weeks: 32, 34, 36, 37, 38 and 39. Non-stress tests at 31, 33, 35, 36, 37 and 38. Half of the ultrasounds were for measuring the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby, the number of movements, and the breathing; and the other ultrasounds were for measuring her size. My doctor explained that in any high risk pregnancy, the fluid level, signs of distress, and size can change rapidly. And since our bodies are not perfect (boo for the broken pancreases!), it's a good idea (in my doc's opinion) just to be sure the baby's okay. I know in my pregnancy, I could never keep my blood sugars perfect (even though my A1c was 5.6) and certainly not in line with a non-diabetic's really low numbers (they hang out in the 60s to 90s all the time during pregnancy, lucky ducks). It is strange that you didn't have to do this the first time. Maybe you can ask your doctor why the change?