Story by: Sara Sidery on April 19, 2023
Even though a gestational diabetes diagnosis felt scary at the time, for Jenna Wilson, support from Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine made her high-risk pregnancy much less intimidating. The practice’s maternal-fetal medicine specialists, part of Norton Women’s Care, helped her feel empowered.“They always put a positive spin on everything and cheered me on, telling me I was doing great and everything was going to be fine,” Jenna said. “They gave me the tools, and I used them and was pretty successful.”Jenna was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in 2021, while pregnant with her second child. When her obstetrics provider ordered a glucose test when she was 15 weeks pregnant, she assumed she would pass with flying colors, as she had done before. This time, however, her numbers were slightly elevated.“My blood sugar level was always good, but my fasting numbers weren’t the best, so I was referred to Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine” to consult with a maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) specialist, she said.
An MFM physician is an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) who specializes in high-risk pregnancy.
Whether it’s gestational diabetes or another complex condition, we support, treat and care for mothers during their high-risk pregnancy.
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It was a stressful time, but the providers Jenna met immediately made her feel at ease.“Everyone I met at the MFM office was great,” Jenna said. “I was scared at first, because I was high-risk, and I feel like diabetes sometimes has a negative connotation, but they made me feel like everything was fine. I felt very comfortable.”Jennifer “Jenny” R. Willis, APRN, a nurse practitioner with Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine, went above and beyond, with enthusiasm, patience and care, to explain Jenna’s new treatment plan during her pregnancy.“Jenny was so nice and explained everything so well. She made me feel confident about everything,” said Jenna, who also appreciated Jenny’s realistic approach when she would check in weekly with her updated blood sugar numbers.“Jenny was always understanding with pregnancy, cravings and making adjustments. If a number was high, we would investigate and figure out the cause,” Jenna said. “She was always available. I could text her anytime with a question.”Jenna made the necessary adjustments to her diet, lifestyle and insulin injections, and delivered a healthy baby girl, named Maggie, who weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces.With gestational diabetes, babies are at a higher risk of being born prematurely, being very large (9 pounds and over), having low blood sugar or later developing Type 2 diabetes.“I was worried about the baby’s sugars, but she had multiple blood sugar level checks, and all of hers were great,” Jenna said. “I also felt better and like I healed a lot faster from my C-section [cesarean section] from being on a healthy lifestyle.”Jenna’s blood sugar numbers returned to normal after pregnancy. Although some pregnant people with gestational diabetes go on to develop Type 2 diabetes, Jenna did not. As her daughter, now a toddler, continues to grow, Jenna appreciates the care she received from the Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine team.“I would highly recommend them,” Jenna said. “Everyone was great and made what was a scary time much less scary for me. They made me feel validated as a patient and a person.”
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