Things you need to know
If you’re a young woman with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, there are some things that are important for you to know about pregnancy and diabetes - even if having a baby is the last thing on your mind!
If you are having sex, you need to use reliable contraception
If you are thinking about having sex or are already sexually active, this is a good time to talk to your diabetes team or GP about pregnancy, contraception and diabetes.
Using reliable contraception is important until you are ready to start planning a pregnancy. There are a number of contraceptive choices available to women with diabetes.
Discuss the options with your diabetes health professionals or GP - you may have to try a few different methods before you find the one that’s right for you.
Planning ahead for pregnancy is really important
There are a number of extra risks during pregnancy for women with diabetes. It’s best that you become pregnant at a time when your blood glucose levels are well managed and there are no other health problems.
If your HbA1c is higher than recommended when you fall pregnant and in the early stages of pregnancy, this can cause health problems in the developing baby and increase the chances of miscarriage. To reduce these risks, it’s important to keep blood glucose levels in the target range recommended by your diabetes team.
There are some other things you need to do before you start trying for a baby. These include having screening for diabetes complications, taking vitamin supplements recommended for pregnancy, getting your current medications reviewed by your doctor and having routine blood tests.
Before you start trying for a baby, find a team of health professionals to help you with planning and managing your pregnancy. This team may include your endocrinologist, diabetes educator, obstetrician, dietitian, nurse practitioner and GP.
Women with diabetes can have a healthy baby
Most women with diabetes will have a healthy baby. Having diabetes brings some additional risks during pregnancy, but looking after yourself and your diabetes increases the chances of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.