Type 1 diabetesPregnancy and giving birth

You can have a healthy pregnancy with type 1 diabetes, although managing your diabetes might be harder.

It's important to have good blood sugar control before and during pregnancy.

It's recommended you have an HbA1c of below 48mmol/mol when you're pregnant.

Constant high blood glucose levels can harm your baby, especially in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.

There's also a risk of having a large baby, which can cause complications during labour.

Before pregnancy

Speak to your diabetes team If you're planning to get pregnant. They can help you get more stable blood glucose levels and might suggest using an insulin pump.

You'll need to take a high dose (5mg) of folic acid every day from when you start trying to get pregnant until you're 12 weeks pregnant. This can help you have a healthy pregnancy.

You need a higher dose than women who don't have diabetes. You can get this on prescription.

When you're pregnant

Important

If you find out you're pregnant and it isn't planned, get an urgent appointment with your diabetes team.

Keeping your blood glucose levels stable and low can be more difficult as your hormones change and you deal with morning sickness.

You'll have extra appointments with your maternity and diabetes teams when you're pregnant. This usually means check-ups every 2 weeks, as well as extra tests and scans.

You can have a natural birth, but it's recommended you have your baby in hospital.

You might be advised to have your labour started early (induced). It's slightly more common to have an elective caesarean section when the baby is large.

Diabetes UK has information on diabetes and pregnancy.

Page last reviewed: 14/05/2018
Next review due: 14/05/2021