Go to page content

Pregnancy of a person with diabetes

It is recommendable to discuss your pregnancy plans well ahead of time at your place of treatment. This ensures a good blood sugar balance and safe start to the pregnancy.

Each year, approximately 350 women with type 1 diabetes and just under 100 women with type 2 diabetes give birth in Finland.

Normally, if the blood sugar balance is good before and during pregnancy, the pregnancy goes well and the chances of having a healthy baby are practically the same as for other mothers.

Diabetes and related complications, especially kidney disease or potential high blood pressure, can affect the progress and monitoring of the pregnancy as well as the baby’s growth and development. Diabetes increases the baby’s risk to problems during pregnancy and as a newborn.

High blood sugar during fertilisation and early development may result in developmental disorders, for example, in the baby’s heart or central nervous system. On the other hand, high blood sugar during the pregnancy increases the baby’s size and the risk of prematurity as well as issues during labour or as a newborn.

There is no evidence of low blood sugar increasing the risk of developmental disorders or miscarriage.

Pregnancy in and of itself does not cause organ changes in the mother. However, diabetic retinopathy or kidney damage that have gone untreated before the pregnancy may be aggravated during it which is why condition of the eyes and kidney functions are closely monitored during pregnancy. The back surfaces (fundi) of the eyes are checked before pregnancy. If necessary, they are treated and the rate of monitoring is increased. Likewise, suitable medication choices with regard to blood sugar and potential blood pressure are taken into account during pregnancy.

Updated 19.1.2024