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Cheryl Alkon

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Diabetes can be especially hard on women. The burden of diabetes on women is unique because the disease can affect both mothers and their unborn children. Diabetes can cause difficulties during pregnancy such as a miscarriage or a baby born with birth defects. Women with diabetes are also more likely to have a heart attack, and at a younger age, than women without diabetes. For women who do not currently have diabetes, pregnancy brings the risk of gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes develops in 2 – 5 percent of all pregnancies but disappears when a pregnancy is over. Women who have had gestational diabetes or have given birth to a baby weighting more than 9 pounds are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. The prevalence of diabetes is at least 2 – 4 times higher among African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian, and Asian/Pacific Islander women than among caucasian women. The risk for diabetes also increases with age. Because of the increasing lifespan of women and the rapid growth of minority populations, the number of women in the United States at high risk for diabetes and its complications is increasing. Today we are going to be talking about the book, “Balancing Pregnancy with Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby”. It is a down to earth guide for diabetic mothers-to-be. The book explains everything from what is diabetes to labor, delivery, and infertility. Unlike existing books written in dry scientific language, this is a unique patient-written guidebook that includes medical facts, first person reports, and interviews from women living with diabetes who share their pregnancy related experiences.  Today we are talking to writer, researcher and editor and someone who has had Type 1 Diabetes for over 30 years, author Cheryl Alkon.

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