Moderator Duncan: I should like to begin by asking Dr. Palmer to say a few words about the importance of the prepregnancy examination of the diabetic woman.
Dr. Palmer: I have always felt that the diabetic woman in the childbearing age should not become pregnant by accident. I believe that we can gain that objective by proper education of these women as they learn more and more about the diabetic life. From the professional standpoint, there are definitely some diabetic women who should not become pregnant. If diabetic women do become pregnant, when pregnancy is contraindicated, then we are faced with the problem of deciding on therapeutic abortion or possibly, against our better judgment, being forced to permit the pregnancy to go on with the frequent result of a miscarriage or premature stillbirth. Further damage to the diabetes without accomplishing the desired results of a pregnancy may, and often does, occur. Therefore, we try to teach diabetic women that they should electhely become pregnant; that they should use contraception until such time as they have consulted their doctors and found they are physically fit to become pregnant.