Women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes can have a healthy baby, but there are extra risks during pregnancy. Careful planning and preparation for pregnancy, with the support of a team of health professionals, can reduce these risks.
Having diabetes during pregnancy can increase risk of health problems in the developing baby and the chances of an early miscarriage. The risk is higher when blood glucose levels before and during early pregnancy have not been within the target range.
There is also an increased risk of other complications during pregnancy, such as maternal high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia, as well as having a large baby. Planning and preparing for pregnancy, and well managed diabetes during pregnancy, has been shown to reduce the risk of health problems and improve pregnancy outcomes for women with diabetes.
If you develop diabetes during pregnancy, it is called gestational diabetes. Learn more about gestational diabetes.
Pre-pregnancy care for women with diabetes
Make an appointment with your diabetes health professionals as soon as you start thinking about having a baby. They can help you with managing your diabetes and blood glucose levels for the best possible pregnancy outcome. It’s recommended that you have a review of your diabetes and general health at least three to six months before you start trying for a baby.
Before you fall pregnant it’s important that your blood glucose levels are in the pre-pregnancy target range recommended by your health professionals. You should have screening for diabetes complications and a review of all current medications to check if they are safe to take during pregnancy. It is also recommended that women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes start taking high dose folic acid (2.5-5mg) at least one month before pregnancy and throughout the first trimester. If you have any other health problems, make sure you discuss these with your health professionals before you start planning your pregnancy.
There are a number of general health checks that all women need. Your GP can advise you about blood tests, vaccinations and the nutrient supplements you need to take before pregnancy.
Having a Healthy Baby: A guide to planning and managing pregnancy for women with type 1 diabetes
A free NDSS booklet for women with type 1 diabetes who are planning a pregnancy now or in the future. It provides information on preparing for pregnancy, how to manage diabetes during pregnancy and once the baby is born.
This book is available as a PDF version for download.
Having a healthy baby – a guide to planning and managing pregnancy for women with type 2 diabetes
A free NDSS booklet for women with type 2 diabetes who are planning a pregnancy now or in the future. It provides information on preparing for pregnancy, how to manage diabetes during pregnancy and once the baby is born.
This booklet is available as a PDF version is also available for download.
These booklets have been written by health professionals with expertise in pregnancy and diabetes, with input from women with diabetes. They have been endorsed by the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society (ADIPS). These booklets replace the information contained in the Can I have a Healthy Baby? booklet.
Copies of these booklets can be ordered from the pregnancy and diabetes website below.