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Pregnancy planning in diabetes

Your blood sugar balance should be in order before becoming pregnant. This is why ensuring that the pregnancy is planned is even more important for a person with diabetes.

Your blood sugar balance should be good when you get pregnant, i.e. already before the time of fertilisation. The glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) target level is below 53 mmol/mol (7%).

Regardless of the type of diabetes, a pregnancy should be planned at a family planning clinic well before the wished time for the start of the pregnancy.

A referral from person's own doctor is required for the family planning clinic. Information about any medications (including over-the-counter medicines), comprehensive blood sugar and blood pressure monitoring information as well as the result of the latest fundus photography should be brought with to the first appointment.

The family planning clinic will examine the operation of kidneys, heart and thyroid gland as well as the back surfaces of the eyes. Current medication as well as the potential need for additional medication are assessed on the basis of the examinations. Once the factors affecting the mother's and baby’s well-being have been examined and taken into account ahead of time, as a rule, it is safe for the person with diabetes to get pregnant.

All women planning to get pregnant are recommended to take a daily vitamin booster with folic acid as early as two months before ceasing to use birth control. If the woman planning a pregnancy has diabetes, the daily folic acid dose after stopping brith control is higher than usual, 4–5 mg per day. This continues until week 12 of the pregnancy, after which the daily dose is 1 mg throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding. Folic acid reduces the fetus' risk of deformity.

Once the pregnancy has commenced, a person with diabetes should contact maternity and child health clinic (neuvola) at their own health center without a delay. They will then be referred from there to a Maternity Outpatient Clinic for the pregnancy monitoring.

Updated 26.4.2022