Skip to content

For women with type 2 diabetes

Sick days during pregnancy

Everyday illnesses such as the flu and infections can cause your blood glucose levels to rise. If you get sick while you are pregnant, you will need to be careful. When you are unwell, check your blood glucose levels more often.

If you are taking insulin, you may also need to adjust your doses to manage your blood glucose levels. If your insulin doses need to be increased when you are sick, the dose often needs to be reduced again, once you are better.

Talk to your diabetes health professionals about what to do when you are sick. Ask them to develop a sick day management plan with you. This will help you to manage your blood glucose levels when you are unwell.

Managing sick days

  • Develop a sick day management plan with your diabetes health professionals and follow this plan if you are unwell or have morning sickness.
  • Check your blood glucose levels at least every 2 hours if  you are unwell. If you are using continuous or flash glucose monitoring, it’s important to also check your glucose levels with finger prIck blood glucose monitoring.
  • If you are taking insulin, discuss hypo management with your diabetes health professionals. If you blood glucose level is low, treat the hypo then check your blood glucose level again in 10-15 minutes, to make sure it is back in the target range. If your blood glucose level is still below 4mmol/L, retreat the hypo.
  • If you are taking insulin, continue to take your long-acting insulin even if you are vomiting or not eating. Talk to your diabetes health professionals about adjusting your insulin dose in this situation.
  • If you are taking metformin, you should stop taking this medication temporarily if you have severe vomiting—ask your doctor for advice.
  • Make sure you continue to drink plenty of fluids. If your blood glucose levels are low, include carbohydrate-containing fluids. If your glucose levels are high, choose carbohydrate-free fluids. Refer to your sick day management plan.
  • See your doctor to find out the cause of the illness.
  • Call your doctor or credentialled diabetes educator immediately, or go to the Emergency Department of your nearest hospital if you:
    • are vomiting or unable to keep food or fluid down for more than two hours
    • have high blood glucose levels that are not improving after two hours, despite following your sick day management plan
    • are worried about high blood glucose levels
    • need advice about your medication
    • are having trouble keeping your blood glucose levels above 4mmol/L
    • are unable to follow your sick day management plan.

For more information about managing sick days, talk to your diabetes in pregnancy team.

Featured resource

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

Learn about the artwork