What is it?
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are pregnant, you need special care. If your blood sugar levels are not well controlled, there can be long-term effects for you and your baby. That’s why it’s important to plan and prepare for a healthy pregnancy – either before you fall pregnant, or as soon as you learn you are pregnant.
What will my GP do?
If you’re thinking about becoming pregnant, your GP will talk to you about how to prepare for a healthy pregnancy. You may be advised to wait until your health improves before you start trying.
Pregnant women with diabetes are classed as ‘high-risk’. That means you need involvement from a team of healthcare professionals. Your GP will talk to you about your care options.
Your GP will also:
- Review your medication – some medications aren’t recommended in pregnancy
- Talk to you about the importance of taking a folate supplement – the recommended daily dose is 5mg
- Check your diet – you may need a referral for a dietitian
- Test for complications – related to your eyes, kidneys and feet
If you’re already pregnant, you will need to book in to a diabetes in pregnancy service. You may also get a referral for an endocrinologist, diabetes educator, and dietitian.
What will my GP do in the future?
Your GP will remain involved in your pregnancy care. You’ll continue to see your GP along with a team of other health professionals. Either your GP or another health professional will see you for regular blood sugar monitoring, tests, growth scans, and ultrasounds.
After your baby is born, you will need to see your GP regularly to discuss:
- Blood sugar monitoring
- Medicines – some medicines pass through breast milk
- Your overall health and wellbeing
- Your baby’s health and wellbeing
- Contraception if you’re not having more children
What can I do?
Whether you’re already pregnant or are trying to be, now is the time to look after your health. With well managed blood sugar levels, you can help to reduce the risk of health issues for you and your baby.
Eating well, exercising, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress are important steps for a healthy pregnancy. Alcohol and smoking should be avoided.
Make an appointment for a diabetes in pregnancy service as soon as you learn you are pregnant. You can also ask for a referral for a dietitian or diabetes educator specialising in pregnancy.
If you already have an endocrinologist, you should continue to see them for regular review.