Your antenatal appointments
You should be seen in a joint diabetes and antenatal clinic as soon as you get pregnant. You’ll have extra care throughout pregnancy because of your condition, as well as the routine antenatal care everyone gets during pregnancy.
This includes extra tests and ultrasound scans to check your health and your baby’s health. Your first scan should take place at 7-9 weeks. From early on in pregnancy, you will need to check your glucose levels more regularly and may need to make changes to your diet.
You will have regular contact with your healthcare team to review your glucose levels. This could be as often as every 1 to 2 weeks. The team can support you with any lifestyle changes you may need to make.
Try to go to any appointments you have so your healthcare team can monitor you and your baby.
Every pregnancy is different. Your care may be slightly different from other women with diabetes. Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare team If there is anything about managing your diabetes that you are unsure about.
Your healthcare team
The specialists you see will depend on what services are available in your local area. But your team might include some of the following:
- a specialist midwife – there may be a diabetes midwife or clinic lead midwife, who will give you specialist support while you are pregnant, during the birth and after the birth
- an endocrinologist or diabetologist – a doctor who specialises in diabetes
- an obstetrician – a doctor who specialises in pregnancy and birth
- a diabetes nurse specialist – a nurse specialising in caring for people with diabetes
- a dietitian – a healthcare professional who can provide advice on your diet
- kidney or eye specialists (nephrologist or ophthalmologist).
These professionals will work alongside the other members of your healthcare team, such as your GP and your community midwife.
Managing your diabetes
Your diabetes team may recommend changes to your treatment regimen and lifestyle (such as diet or exercise) during pregnancy. Find out more about diet and exercise with type 1 or 2 diabetes.
You will need to monitor your glucose levels more often during your pregnancy. Remember that morning sickness can affect your glucose levels. Your healthcare team will be able to give you more information about this.
Keeping your glucose levels in range may mean you have more low-glucose-sugar (hypoglycaemic) events (hypos). These do not harm your baby, but they could put you at risk. It’s important that you and anyone you spend the most time with know how to manage with them. Talk to your diabetes team about this.
Find out more about using insulin in pregnancy with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Your blood pressure and urine will also be checked at each visit.
Find out more about managing your glucose levels.