Pregnancy and type 1 diabetes

Living with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t be an obstacle if you’re thinking of having a child. However, pre-pregnancy planning is crucial for the best possible outcome for you and your child.

Your diabetes team, as well as pre-conception diabetes clinics, are there to help when the time is right. Speaking with experts early in the process is the best way to make sure that both you and your baby get the best possible care.

To give your baby the best start in life, there are a number of things you need to do at least three months prior to conception. These include:

  • Seeking pre-conception counselling and planning
  • Strictly controlling your blood glucose levels (while avoiding hypoglycaemia where blood glucose levels are lower than 4mmol/L) so that you are close to the normal range before conception and throughout your pregnancy
  • Taking high dose (5mg) folate supplements
  • Adjusting any medication according to your doctor/diabetes team’s recommendations
  • Getting screened for diabetes-related complications, including eyes, kidneys, macro-vascular disease and autonomic neuropathy
  • Quitting smoking
  • Monitoring your blood glucose (crucial during pregnancy)
  • Reviewing your diet and exercise regime to stay in good health
  • Reviewing your self-care skills, including:
    • managing your sick-days
    • making sure you have in-date ketone testing strips
    • managing the risk of hypoglycaemia by making sure you have in-date glucagon and carrying adequate carbohydrate foods
    • taking care while driving

Your diabetes health care team can provide support and guidance with any of these changes and help you with any questions you have along the way.

Visit the Pregnancy and Diabetes website to find out more about managing your diabetes during at birth and beyond. pregnancy and diabetes.

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