Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes Preconception and in Pregnancy: Health Impacts, Influence of Obesity and Lifestyle, and Principles of Management

Sally K. Abell, Alison Nankervis, Khalid S. Khan, Helena J. Teede

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Preexisting diabetes in pregnancy results in increased risks to the mother, fetus, and neonate. Preconception care is vital to reduce risk of miscarriage, congenital malformations, and perinatal mortality. Preconception care should empower women with realistic goal setting, healthy lifestyle, and diabetes self-management skills, to ensure a positive experience of the pregnancy and to reduce diabetes-related distress. In high-risk women without known diabetes, preconception and early antenatal screening is crucial to enable prompt treatment of hyperglycemia and any complications. The prevalence of obesity in reproductive age women is rising, further increasing risk of poor pregnancy outcomes in women with diabetes. Adverse lifestyle factors should be addressed preconception and in the antenatal period, allowing opportunity to improve physical health, manage weight, and improve neonatal outcomes. Management of diabetes in pregnancy involves individualized and intensified insulin therapy, accounting for expected changes in insulin sensitivity, and minimizing glucose variability and hypoglycemia. Diabetes complications must be screened for and managed as necessary. Delivery timing will depend on fetal surveillance and obstetric considerations. It is important to maintain engagement and motivation of these women in the postpartum period, encouraging breastfeeding and postpartum weight management and supporting diabetes management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
JournalSeminars in Reproductive Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2016


  • diabetes in pregnancy
  • lifestyle
  • obesity
  • preconception

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