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Diabetes before and during pregnancy

Planning on getting pregnant

It is important to have discussions with the relevant health care professional if you have diabetes and you are planning on getting pregnant: 

  • Speak to your Diabetes Specialist Nurse or Diabetes Consultant if your diabetes care is at the hospital. 
  • Speak to your GP or Practise Nurse if your diabetes care is with your GP. 

Your health care professional will review your diabetes medication and help you to improve your diabetes control. It is important you do not stop taking your diabetes medication without speaking to your health care professional for advice. 

It will be recommended that you monitor your BG levels 4x/day (if you do not already do so), aiming to keep your blood glucose levels between 4-7mmols.

Folic acid

If you are planning a pregnancy and have diabetes, we recommend you take 5mg of folic acid supplements. This should be taken up to three months pre-pregnancy to reduce the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects or spina bifida. Find out more information about folic supplements

Your care during pregnancy 

As soon as you know you are pregnant, please contact your GP or community midwife for a referral to the Diabetes Antenatal Clinic.

At the Diabetes Antenatal Clinic, you will see the consultant obstetrician and diabetologist and diabetes specialist nurse. Your diabetes medication will be reviewed and an early pregnancy scan will be arranged.

You will need to be monitoring your blood glucose levels up to seven times a day. Pregnancy blood glucose targets are lower than if you are not pregnant. These targets will be explained in more detail at the Diabetes Antenatal Clinic. 

You will be asked to attend the Diabetes Antenatal Clinic monthly and will also have regular phone clinics arranged with the diabetes specialist nurse.

You will also be referred to and seen by the dietician.

Labour, birth and beyond

Most women with diabetes will have their baby before their due date. Your birth plan and the safest way for you to deliver your baby will be discussed in clinic with your consultant obstetrician. This will take into consideration how well controlled your diabetes has been and the growth of your baby.

You will need to stay in hospital for at least 24 hours after the birth of your baby.

A review of your diabetes medication will be done prior to you having your baby so that you know what medication and doses you will be taking once you have had your baby.

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