Pregnancy planning checklist

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Are you are woman with diabetes thinking about having a baby?

The best preparation for a healthy pregnancy starts with getting the right information and advice before you fall pregnant.

It is recommended that you start planning and preparing for pregnancy at least 3-6 months before you start trying for a baby. This checklist is designed to help you get ready and only takes a few minutes to complete.

At the end of the checklist you will be able to see what you need to do to prepare for pregnancy. Print the checklist and discuss it with your doctor or diabetes health professional.

The information in this checklist is a general guide only*. Talk to your health professionals for individualised advice on pregnancy and diabetes.

* The information you provide in this checklist is not stored by NDSS and is developed for your purposes only.

About your diabetes

Women with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes need to plan and prepare for pregnancy. By answering the question below, the pregnancy planning checklist will be individualised to the type of diabetes you have.

What type of diabetes do you have?

Contraception

It is important to use contraception until you are ready to start trying for a baby. Some methods of contraception are more reliable than others. Ask your doctor about the best type of contraception for you.

Are you currently using contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy?

General pregnancy advice

Before falling pregnant there are a number of general health checks that all women need. Your GP can advise you about blood tests, vaccinations and nutrient supplements needed before pregnancy.

Have you spoken to your GP for general pregnancy planning advice?

Diabetes in pregnancy specialists

When planning a pregnancy women with diabetes benefit from the support of a team of health professionals, including specialist doctors and diabetes health professionals. If you're not already seeing these health professionals, ask your GP for a referral. If you live in a regional area, ask your GP about Telehealth or shared care with a major hospital.

Are you currently seeing health professionals specialised in pregnancy and diabetes?

Blood glucose levels

Blood glucose levels in the target range before you fall pregnant and during the early stages of pregnancy reduce the risk of health problems for mother and baby.

Your HbA1c should be in the recommended range before you start trying for a baby. Discuss your individual blood glucose targets with your diabetes health professionals.

In the past 3 months was your HbA1c less than mmol/mol (%) or less?

Diabetes management

Your diabetes health professionals can help you with managing your diabetes to prepare for pregnancy. Make an appointment 3 to 6 months before you start trying for a baby.

Have you had a review of your diabetes management to find out what you need to do to prepare for pregnancy?

Medication

Not all medications have been shown to be safe to use during pregnancy. Ask your doctor to check all the medications you are currently taking to see if they are safe to use.

Have you had all of your medications reviewed by your doctor to see if they are safe to take during pregnancy?

Folic acid (folate)

Folic acid can help reduce the risk of certain birth defects. Women with diabetes are recommended to have a higher dose of folic acid than other women.

Start taking high dose folic acid everyday for at least one month before planning your pregnancy. Your doctor will recommend you take half to one 5mg tablet, depending on other supplements you are taking.

Have you started taking a high dose* folic acid supplement?

*2.5mg to 5mg per day

Diabetes complications screening

Diabetes complications can increase the risk of having other health problems during pregnancy. Before you fall pregnant, you need to have a full complications screening (eyes, kidneys, nerves) and have your blood pressure checked.

Have you had a full complications screening in the past 6-12 months and your blood pressure checked in the past 3 months?

Healthy weight

Being a healthy weight before pregnancy can reduce your risk of health problems during pregnancy. If you are overweight, losing some weight before you fall pregnant is recommended. Eating well and regular physical activity can help you manage your weight.

How tall are you (cm)?

How much do you weight (kg)?

You have finished the pregnancy planning checklist

To see your results, click on see my checklist below.

Print or save your checklist and take it with you to your doctor or diabetes health professionals for further information, advice and support.

Pregnancy Planning Checklist Results

Thank you for completing the pregnancy planning checklist for women with diabetes. Your results are summarised below. The boxes ticked are the things you have already done to prepare for pregnancy. The boxes which are not yet ticked are things that you still need to do to. Take this checklist with you to your doctor or diabetes health professional to discuss the results.

BEFORE you fall pregnant:

  • Use contraception until you are ready to start trying for a baby (ask your doctor if this is the most reliable contraception suitable for you)
  • Talk to your doctor for general pregnancy planning advice
  • Make an appointment with health professionals who specialise in pregnancy and diabetes
  • Aim for an HbA1c of less than mmol/mol (%) or less
  • Review your diabetes management with your diabetes health professionals
  • Have all medications checked to see if they are safe to take during pregnancy
  • Start taking a high dose (2.5-5mg) folic acid supplement each day
  • Have a full diabetes complications screening and your blood pressure checked
  • Aim for a healthy weight before you fall pregnant

The information provided in this checklist is a general guide only. No matter how many items are ticked, it is recommended that you talk to your health professionals about your individual health needs BEFORE you start trying for a baby.