Planning for pregnancy

Women with type 1 diabetes

Before you fall pregnant

If you are thinking about having a baby, here is a guide to what you need to do before you start trying for a baby.

Contraception and general pregnancy advice

Ask your GP or other doctor for help to choose the best contraception for you and your partner when planning your pregnancy. Seek advice on planning and preparing for pregnancy.


Ask your GP for referrals to diabetes in pregnancy specialists for pre-pregnancy care. Put together and meet your diabetes in pregnancy team.

Blood glucose targets

Aim for an HbA1c of less than 7% (53mmol/mol) before falling pregnant. Discuss individual blood glucose targets with your health care team.

Folic acid

Start taking high dose folic acid for at least one month before becoming pregnant and continue during the first three months of pregnancy.

Medication review

Ask your doctor to review all the medications you are taking (including diabetes tablets, blood pressure and lipid medication) to check if they are safe to take during pregnancy.

Review insulin therapy

Consider whether the type of insulin treatment you are having needs any changes, and consider whether an insulin pump might be a good option for you.

Diabetes complications and screening

Have a full complications screening done before you fall pregnant. Any complications need to be treated and stabilised, if necessary before falling pregnant. A thyroid function test and coeliac screening should also be done. Your doctor may also do additional tests such as checking your vitamin D level. 

Blood pressure

Check and stabilise your blood pressure before becoming pregnant.

Weight management

Aim for a healthy weight before pregnancy by following a healthy eating plan and doing regular physical activity.


Make sure your Rubella and chickenpox vaccinations are up to date. If needed, immunisations should be done at least one month before conception. Also discuss flu and whooping cough vaccinations with your doctor.

Smoking and alcohol

If you are a smoker, stop smoking - ask your health professionals for help. Avoid alcohol and other drugs completely during pregnancy.