Metro doctors fighting misconception that women with Type 1 diabetes can’t have kids

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's a misconception doctors are fighting for women with Type 1 diabetes hoping to become mothers, and it might just give you some hope.

"I've always known I wanted to be a mom," Natalie Hughes said.

When she married her high school school sweetheart, the title she wanted was "mom." But there's a common misconception that women with Type 1 diabetes can't have children.

"When I was growing up, I always heard, 'Oh, you have Type 1 diabetes. I`m so sorry you can`t have children.' And I thought, 'What? What you do you mean I can`t have children?'" she said.

The illness governed what and how much she ate, but she feared it might also take away her biggest goal -- even after she learned she was pregnant.

"The very first time I went, they told me I was going to have a miscarriage, and I was terrified," Hughes said.

That statement drove Hughes to find a new doctor.

"I got online and did research and wanted a one-stop-shop for my Type 1 diabetes and the management of it," she said.

She found the maternal fetal medicine specialists at St. Luke`s Hospital.

"They take care of all of it. I didn`t want to have to go to 10 doctors. I wanted to go to one place that would do all of it, and that`s exactly what they did," Hughes said.

"Type 1 diabetes is a chronic, lifelong medical condition, and women just need to understand that they need to take care of that condition and have it well-controlled prior to conceiving," St. Luke's maternal fetal medicine specialist Devon Ramaeker said.

And if they don't, Ramaeker said it's OK.

"Even if a pregnancy is not planned, we don`t need moms to be so scared to think that they can`t have a healthy pregnancy," she said. "But what they really need to do is reach out to maternal fetal medicine specialists right away so they can get into our care and we can make sure they achieve a healthy outcome."

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