Pregnancy in women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes usually results in a normal delivery with no effects on the mother’s or the child’s long-term health. However, poorly controlled blood glucose levels during pregnancy can have long term effects for mum and baby, as well as complications during delivery.
You can have a healthy pregnancy and a good outcome with planning, multidisciplinary care and excellent control of blood glucose levels.
Talk to your doctor, Credentialed Diabetes Educator, obstetrician for pre-pregnancy planning and care. You can receive advice and guidance on blood glucose management, a review of all self care skills and knowledge, an assessment of diabetes equipment and management of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia.
High blood glucose levels can increase the risk of having a baby with a birth defect. However this can be minimised by ensuring excellent blood glucose control at the time of conception and during the first eight weeks of pregnancy.
Careful attention to nutrition is essential, not only for good diabetes control, but to meet the body’s increased nutritional requirements during pregnancy.
Exercise is also helpful in maintaining general fitness and good blood glucose control.
There is no reason why women with diabetes should not breast-feed. Insulin requirements are generally slightly lower during this time. Insulin does not pass into the breast milk and is not harmful to the baby.
Hypoglycaemia is an issue. You should discuss with your doctor or Credentialed Diabetes Educator about strategies to minimise them.
You can find our resources for Diabetes and Pregnancy here.
For more information visit the Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society.