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NICE guideline offers women with diabetes pregnancy support

Women with diabetes should be offered help to plan their pregnancies before conception, say new National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines.

The guidelines recommend that women with diabetes should be able to access specialist services before they become pregnant.

Health professionals, say NICE, should advise on good glycaemic control in reducing the risk of miscarriage, malformation at birth, still birth and neonatal death.

Women should also be directed to take folic acid supplements, given lifestyle advice and offered a fasting plasma glucose test at the 6-week postnatal check.

Gilian Leng, deputy chief executive at NICE, said: "Having a baby is a huge decision for anyone but if you are a woman who has diabetes, it is a decision that requires much more thought and careful planning.

"We have used the best available evidence from around the world to set a national standards on how midwives and doctors can help women with pre-existing diabetes and gestational diabetes."

Jackie Webb, diabetes specialist nurse and guideline development group member: "The NICE guideline formalise care and sets out the level of information that needs to be provided by healthcare professionals to give women the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy, for example advice about increasing exercise.

"As a diabetes nurse in an area with high prevalence of the condition, I know that my colleagues will really welcome this guideline."