Diabetes and Pregnancy

Close-up of a pregnant person using a device to test their blood sugar.

Our Diabetes and Pregnancy Program supports pregnant people who have or are at risk for diabetes. We are the only program in Oregon that brings expert diabetes care, pregnancy care and nutrition support together in one place.

We offer:

  • Doctors who specialize in high-risk pregnancy and managing diabetes in pregnancy.
  • A dietitian with expertise in nutrition during pregnancy and managing diabetes.
  • Care, education, nutrition plans and lifestyle support to help you be healthy during pregnancy and beyond.
  • Advanced technologies to monitor and manage your blood sugar levels.

Care for a safe pregnancy and delivery

Most people who manage their diabetes have a safe pregnancy and delivery. That’s true for people who had diabetes before pregnancy, and those diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

We offer supportive care to help you achieve your health goals and manage your blood sugar levels during pregnancy. Our experts will:

  • Help you develop a nutrition plan you can stick with.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels.
  • Keep you and your baby healthy.

What makes our program different

We will help you understand how diabetes and nutrition can affect your and your baby’s health during and after pregnancy. We are the only diabetes and pregnancy program in Oregon that allows you to see both:

  • An obstetrician who specializes in complex pregnancies, with a special focus on diabetes.
  • A dietitian who focuses on health and nutrition before, during and after pregnancy.

Care tailored to your needs: We can work with your prenatal care provider to give you tools, education and support for managing your condition. We can also provide complete prenatal care and delivery at OHSU Hospital.

Advanced technology: We have access to the most advanced and effective blood glucose monitoring technology, as well as fetal imaging and monitoring options.

What to expect

Care may start before you get pregnant, and it continues after you give birth.

Before pregnancy: If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, or are at risk for gestational diabetes, we can:

  • Help you be as healthy as possible before getting pregnant. This is the best way to lower your risk for pregnancy complications.
  • Work with your endocrinologist to help manage your condition, or connect you with a specialist if needed.
  • Create a nutrition plan with you that meets your needs and preferences.
  • Teach you about the risks of diabetes and high blood sugar levels for you and your baby during pregnancy.

During pregnancy: Managing your blood sugar levels can be especially hard during pregnancy. We can support your health goals and track your baby’s growth and development. We can also monitor your blood sugar and help you reach healthy levels:

  • 95 or lower fasting or before a meal
  • 140 or lower one hour after a meal

After delivery: We can support your postpartum goals, while continuing to monitor your blood sugar levels. When you’re ready, we can smoothly transition your care to your primary care provider or endocrinologist.

We can support you as you make decisions about infant feeding, future family planning and navigating life with a new baby.

Conditions we treat

We support pregnant people who have the conditions below, or other conditions that can affect diabetes risk, like prediabetes, high BMI and PCOS.

There are three options for how you can see us:

  • Once or twice, to answer your questions and help you adjust your medication or nutrition to support your growing baby. You will continue to see your primary pregnancy care provider and endocrinologist if you have one.
  • Throughout your pregnancy to help manage your blood sugar levels. You will continue to see your primary pregnancy care provider.
  • Throughout your pregnancy to manage your blood sugar levels and your prenatal care.

What it is: People with gestational diabetes have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy. When you are pregnant, your body may become more resistant to insulin as it works to provide the nutrients your baby and placenta need.

Untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health problems for you and your baby. With diagnosis and supportive care, you are much more likely to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

People with gestational diabetes are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other health concerns later in life. It’s important to have regular check-ins with a primary care doctor throughout your life.

Diagnosis: Most people have a screening test during the second trimester of pregnancy. If you are at high risk, you may be screened sooner. The test includes the following steps:

  • You do not eat or drink anything but water for 8-12 hours before the test.
  • Your provider measures your blood sugar level.
  • You drink a glucose solution.
  • One hour later and two hours later, your provider measures your blood sugar levels. A blood sugar below 140 is normal.
  • If your blood sugar is higher than 140, you may need follow-up screening, and you may be diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

How we help: We start with a nutrition and exercise plan tailored to your needs. If needed, we prescribe insulin or other medications to help manage your condition. After delivery, we can care for you until your primary care provider or a specialist can take over.

What it is: Type 1 diabetes happens when your pancreas can’t make insulin. Insulin moves glucose into cells to be used as fuel; without it, glucose builds up in your blood. This is why people with type 1 diabetes take insulin. If your type 1 diabetes is under control, you can have a healthy pregnancy and baby.

How we help: Your baby and placenta need more and more nutrition during pregnancy. This can make managing your blood sugar levels a challenge.

Whether we see you once or provide diabetes and prenatal care throughout your pregnancy, we will support your health and pregnancy goals.

What it is: Type 2 diabetes happens when your cells don’t respond to insulin as well as they once did. This is called insulin resistance. Your pancreas makes extra insulin at first. But over time, it can’t keep up. Some people with type 2 diabetes manage it with diet and exercise. Others take insulin or other medications.

How we help: We can work with you to create a prenatal care, nutrition and blood sugar monitoring plan that fits your needs and goals. You can see us just to create this plan, just for diabetes care, or for all of your diabetes and prenatal care through your pregnancy and delivery.

What it is: Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar is too low. This can cause confusion, shakiness or lightheadedness.

How we help: We will help find the cause of your low blood sugar and treat it, if needed, alongside your prenatal care provider. We can work with you to create a nutrition and exercise plan to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level during your pregnancy.

Our services

Diabetes and pregnancy care can vary widely. We will tailor your care to your needs.

Our expert dietitian will work with you to create a meal plan for your pregnancy. We will help you identify the healthiest foods for you, and how and when to eat to help your body handle these foods. Our support will fit your personal and cultural food needs and preferences.

Our doctors can prescribe medication or help you adjust your medication, including insulin. We have access to the most advanced technology, including insulin pumps and pens.

We also provide advanced technology options for monitoring your blood sugar, including meters and continuous glucose monitors.

We can help, whether you’ve had diabetes for a while or were just diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Our experts in high-risk pregnancy and diabetes will help you enjoy a pregnancy that is healthy for you and your baby.

For patients

Call 503-418-4200 to make an appointment.

Support the Program

Help us bring innovation and expert care to pregnant people with diabetes.


Parking is free for patients and their visitors.

Physician’s Pavilion
3270 S.W. Pavilion Loop
Portland, OR 97239
Map and directions

Hillsboro Medical Center
8th Avenue Medical Plaza
364 SE 8th Avenue, Suite 201
Hillsboro, OR 97213

For referring providers

We partner with you to care for patients with high-risk pregnancies.