Overview

Diabetes and pregnancy

This information is relevant if you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. It is intended to:

You can also encourage your family and friends to read the information. This can help them to understand how diabetes may affect your pregnancy and how they can support you.

Your healthcare during pregnancy

To give yourself and your baby the best start possible, you need a review of your diabetes and general health. The diabetes team and, if necessary, the obstetric (pregnancy) team can arrange this.

It is highly recommended that you plan your pregnancy if you have diabetes to get the best outcome. We have a pre-conception (before pregnancy) service. A nurse specialist who is experienced in caring for people with diabetes during pregnancy leads this service.

Before you try for a baby, you can ask your GP, practice nurse or local diabetes team to refer you to our pre-conception service.

Gestational diabetes

Apart from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, there is a 3rd type of diabetes called gestational diabetes. This happens during pregnancy and usually goes away after your baby is born.

If you have gestational diabetes, there is a higher chance of getting type 2 diabetes in future. There are things that you can do to reduce this risk, such as:

  • keeping to a healthy weight
  • eating a balanced diet
  • exercising regularly

We have information about being tested for gestational diabetes, how the condition can affect your pregnancy and possible long-term effects. Please speak to your GP or practice nurse if you have more questions about gestational diabetes.

Having a healthy baby

Most people with diabetes have healthy babies.

Diabetes can be linked with pregnancy complications. However, individuals with diabetes have an equal chance of giving birth to a healthy baby. This is provided that you become pregnant when your diabetes is tightly controlled and you are in good general heath.

It is important that you plan your pregnancy to get the best possible outcome. If you are already pregnant, your diabetes and pregnancy team work with you towards the best outcome for you and your baby.

Unplanned pregnancies are common. This is a difficult time for many people as they think about their options. If you see your GP for your usual diabetes care, you will need an immediate referral to the hospital diabetes team.

The first 8 weeks are when a baby’s main organs develop. For this reason, it is important to get tight control of your blood sugar (glucose) levels as soon as possible.

Useful information and support

NHS

The NHS has:

Diabetes UK

Diabetes UK has information on:

Phone: 0345 123 2399 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.diabetes.org.uk

Resource number: 1702/VER4
Last reviewed: September 2022
Next review due: September 2025

A list of sources is available on request.

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to speak with the diabetes antenatal team.

Phone: 020 7188 1993, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

If we cannot answer your call, please leave a voicemail. We call you back within 1 working day.

Email: [email protected]

We respond to your email within 1 working day.

Address: Diabetes and endocrine day centre, 3rd floor, Lambeth Wing, St Thomas' Hospital, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7EH

Help to give up smoking

If you need help to give up smoking, you can contact our stop smoking service or the free National Smokefree Helpline (England only).

Hospital team: 020 7188 0995

National Smokefree Helpline: 0300 123 1044 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm, Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 4pm) 

Pharmacy medicines helpline

If you have any questions or concerns about your diabetes medicines, please speak to the staff caring for you. 

You can also contact our pharmacy medicines helpline.

Phone: 020 7188 8748, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Email: [email protected]
 

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Contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)

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