There are specialised services available to support women with diabetes before, during and after pregnancy. The type of services available will vary between states and local health districts. These services may include:
All major hospitals in Australia with maternity services can provide information about pregnancy and diabetes. This may be provided through a diabetes education service or in some larger hospitals through a specialised diabetes in pregnancy service. Medicare provides access to services in public hospitals free of charge for Australian residents and overseas visitors from countries with a reciprocal arrangement.
Seeing a private endocrinologist, diabetes educator and dietitian may be an option for some women. It’s important to make sure that these health professionals have expertise in pregnancy and diabetes. Private specialists usually charge a fee for their services, part of which will be covered by Medicare. For a specialist visit to be covered by Medicare, either wholly or partly, you will need a referral from your general practitioner (GP). Some allied health services may also be eligible for Medicare reimbursement for people living with a chronic condition. Ask your GP for more information.
If you live in a regional or rural area where there are limited services, ask your GP about the services available for managing your diabetes during pregnancy. This may include shared care between local services and a diabetes in pregnancy team in a major hospital. Services such as Telehealth may be an option to link your local health professionals with specialist diabetes in pregnancy services. If you have had any complications from diabetes, you may be advised to travel to a major centre with a diabetes in pregnancy service for specialised care. Major centres have higher level services for monitoring and managing more complex pregnancies and the babies.
Talk to your GP or diabetes health professionals about pregnancy services available in your area or phone the NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588 for information about what’s available in your state or territory.