Leaflet: Pregnant Woman With Pre Existing Type 1 Diabetes

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Leaflet: Pregnant Woman With Pre Existing Type 1 Diabetes

Leaflet: Pregnant Woman with Pre Existing Type 1 Diabetes


In the early stage, women with established diabetes may experience increased stress related to their worries about possible birth defects that may interfere with conception. Diabetic women who are pregnant are faced with increasing demands and scrutiny regarding fetal development, managing their diabetes as it responds to the pregnancy and increased medical management (Jovanovic-Peterson, 2005, 130-143).

Leaflet for Pregnant Women With Type 1 Diabetes(SEE APPENDICES FOR THE OTHER RESOURCES)

This leaflet is intended to give you additional information to that received from a healthcare professional. Planning pregnancy is important for all women especially those with diabetes. This leaflet covers both general and diabetes related information. In addition, you are advised to make an appointment to see the members of the multidisciplinary diabetes team about planning your pregnancy and what to expect once you become pregnant. (Jovanovic-Peterson, 2005, 130-143) Members of the diabetes team include your GP, the diabetes consultant, the obstetric/gynaecology consultant, the diabetes nurse, the diabetes midwife, and the dietitian. The contact numbers are at the end of the leaflet.

General Advice For Women Planning Pregnancy

Folic acid tablets

Doctors recommend that all women planning a pregnancy should take the vitamin folic acid before conception and for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Folic acid helps to prevent spinal cord development problems (spina bifida). (Leguizamon, Reece, 2000, 70-78) All women with diabetes are advised to take 5mg of folic acid which is available on prescription.

Cut down or cut out alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol during pregnancy can harm your baby. 'Less is best' when it comes to alcohol and ideally it would be better to stop drinking alcohol whilst you are trying to get pregnant and whilst you are pregnant. Alcohol also affects your blood glucose levels and can increase your risk of 'hypos' (Unger, 2000, 113-120).

Try to stop smoking

Smoking while pregnant can harm your baby. The effects it has on your baby can last well into their childhood and can be permanent. (Willhoite, Bennert, Palomaki, et al. 2003, 450-455) The potential problems caused by diabetes can make smoking more of a health problem for you.

Healthy Eating

Following a healthy eating programme is recommended for all women before and during pregnancy. It can help you to keep your blood glucose well controlled. You may wish to speak to a dietitian regarding healthy eating. This can help you to be a healthy weight for your height. General information about food and dietary matters during pregnancy is given in the booklet “Routine Ante-Natal Care”, (Hare, White, 2000, 953-955) which is given to all pregnant women at their booking appointment.


Keeping active and being involved in regular exercise will help you to have a healthier pregnancy and maintain better blood glucose levels too.


Effective and reliable contraception is important if you want to avoid an unplanned pregnancy, or if you wish not to become pregnant until you have optimal ...
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