Your pregnancy health care team, for women with type 1 diabetes
The best preparation for a healthy pregnancy starts with getting the right information and advice before you become pregnant.
When planning for, and during your pregnancy, you will benefit from the support of a ‘diabetes in pregnancy team’ which may include the following health professionals:
- endocrinologist (diabetes specialist doctor)
- specialist obstetrician (pregnancy doctor)
- credentialled diabetes educator/nurse practitioner (diabetes)
- accredited practising dietitian
- general practitioner (GP)
- social worker.
If needed, your doctor may also refer you to other specialists such as a renal (kidney) physician or an ophthalmologist (eye specialist).
Make an appointment with your diabetes health professionals as soon as you start thinking about having a baby. Ideally, at least three to six months before trying to conceive. Your health professionals can provide pre-pregnancy care to help you with managing your diabetes and organise the health checks you need to prepare for pregnancy. If you are not already seeing these health professionals, ask your GP for the referrals you need. These services may be available to you through your local diabetes centre or hospital.
All major hospitals with maternity services in Australia can provide information about pregnancy and diabetes, and some also have specialised diabetes in pregnancy services. You could also see a private endocrinologist with expertise in diabetes in pregnancy
If you live in a rural area with limited services, ask your GP about the best options. You may consider travelling to a major hospital that has a diabetes in pregnancy service, especially if you have had any complications from diabetes. Or, you may be able to access a shared care system between your local services and a diabetes in pregnancy team in a major hospital. Telehealth may also be an option to link you and your local health professionals with specialist diabetes in pregnancy services
Talk to your GP if you are not sure how to access these health professionals in your area or phone the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 for information about services available in your state or territory.