To help keep your risks as low as possible you will be monitored closely to check that you and your baby are healthy.
This means that you will have more appointments and extra scans, as well as ongoing adjustments to your insulin and/or other medications.
Each pregnancy is different, even for the same woman – so the approach each time will be slightly different. If there is anything about your treatment that you are unsure about, ask your healthcare team.
As soon as you become pregnant, you should be seen in the joint diabetes and antenatal clinic. Throughout your pregnancy, your team will work closely with you to check your blood glucose levels and make changes to your diabetes medications (including insulin doses). This is to make sure you are achieving and maintaining good blood glucose targets safely. It’s very important that you keep a log of your blood glucose levels so that you can get a clear picture of what is going on. You should get lots of information about diet, exercise and other lifestyle issues.
"I think the main thing is having a supportive team. I can email or call them and I can always get hold of them or they will get back to me quickly.They are really helpful, and it means everything. Svenja, mum-to-be
If your diabetes is treated with insulin, remember that your insulin needs will change throughout your pregnancy. This means that your treatment needs to be regularly adjusted. You will be given advice on how to do this and manage hypos, as well as on injecting or using a pump if you are not used to doing this.
Getting contact details
Make sure your healthcare team gives you the contact details for all the services you might need during your pregnancy, including contact numbers to use out of hours or in case of emergency. You should expect to have regular contact with your team every 1–2 weeks.
If you have diabetes, there is no getting around the fact that you will have a lot of medical care during your pregnancy. This is to keep you safe and keep the risks to you and your baby as low as possible. The evidence shows us that these precautions can make a difference.
"Throughout the pregnancy my insulin requirements were changing constantly and I found it difficult to keep on top of, it got me down. I felt envious of my friends who were pregnant and weren't diabetic. They could just sit back and enjoy it, but for me, it was such hard work."Laura, mum of one
You may feel sad or frustrated that your pregnancy or birth will not be as you had hoped, this is natural.
You might find it helpful to share your feelings with other women who have been through a similar experience. Try looking at web forums (try www.diabetes.co.uk, which has a special pregnancy board), check out the various forms of support offered by Diabetes UK and ask your diabetes team about any local diabetes antenatal groups, which may provide a source of support.
If you do find things are getting on top of you, chat to one of your healthcare team about your feelings or call the Tommy’s midwife line on 0800 0147 800 (Mon-Fri 9-5pm).
You will need to manage your type 1 or 2 diabetes in pregnancy by checking your blood glucose levels and adjusting your treatment according to the results.
Women with type 1 or 2 diabetes are at higher risk of some complications but the majority have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. There is much you can do to reduce the risks, for you and baby.
Many women with type 1 or 2 diabetes go on to have a healthy birth. But you are at higher risk of complications so your healthcare team will have recommendations for the birth of your baby.
If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you should to talk to your healthcare team if you are thinking about having a baby. There are some things you can do now to make your upcoming pregnancy safer.
The fact that you have type 1 or 2 diabetes in pregnancy does not mean that your baby will get it as a child. But they will have an increased risk of getting it later due to genetics.
Information and support for type 1 or 2 diabetes in pregnancy
- NICE (2015) Diabetes in pregnancy: management of diabetes and its complications from preconception to the postnatal period, NICE guideline, National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
ℹLast reviewed on September 1st, 2015. Next review date September 1st, 2017.