Pregnancy and diabetes

Diabetes in pregnancy, either gestational diabetes or pre-existing diabetes (type 1 or type 2) can mean closer monitoring for mothers and their babies during pregancy. 

Mothers who have higher than normal blood glucose levels may develop pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure) and have a higher chance of having a baby earlier. The higher than normal levels of blood glucose can make babies grow larger than expected, which increases the risk of having a baby that needs closer monitoring at birth.

Testing for gestational diabetes

All women, except for those who already have pre-existing diabetes, should be offered testing for gestational diabetes during pregnancy, which involves drinking a glucose drink and a blood test. 

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnancy and usually goes away after your baby is born. Women who have gestational diabetes should be tested for diabetes again six to eight weeks after the birth of their baby.

If you have gestational diabetes you should have ongoing testing every two to three years after the birth or if you are feeling unwell or planning another pregnancy.

If you have diabetes before you become pregnant you should continue to treat your diabetes through general practitioners and specialists after your baby is born.

Controlling diabetes during pregnancy

You can control your gestational diabetes while pregnant by doing all of the following: 

  • eat healthily 
  • be physically active
  • check your blood glucose levels
  • sometimes take medication such as insulin or others as ordered by your doctor.

Diabetes in pregnancy clinical register

You will be asked by your doctor, midwife, diabetes educator or Aboriginal health practitioner to join a register of pregnant women with diabetes.

This helps health professionals find information and make decisions about your treatment now and if you have any future pregnancies. The information is also used to improve services for women with diabetes during pregnancy. Your name and contact details are not used in any reports.

Only people who are providing health care during your pregnancy have access to your personal health information.

Your details can be removed from the register at any time, either contact them directly or ask one of your health team to do it for you. 

Questions you will be asked

You will be asked all of the following:

  • your name
  • date of birth
  • where you live
  • where you come from
  • details about your baby and the birth
  • other health information about your diabetes and pregnancy, such as what happened in previous pregnancies
  • if you have other medical problems
  • what tests you had during your pregnancy, such as blood tests or ultrasounds. 

Contact

If you have any questions contact the Northern Territory Diabetes in Pregnancy Clinical Register.

Darwin: (08) 8922 8888 - ask to be put through to the diabetes team, pager number 0628
Alice Springs: (08) 8951 7777 - ask to be put through to the diabetes team, pager number 025.

Last updated: 28 November 2017