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Type 1 Diabetes in Pregnancy: A Review of Complications and Management


Farah Jaffar, Kate Laycock and Mohammed S.B. Huda*  


Background: Pre-gestational diabetes can pose significant risk to the mother and infant, thus requiring careful counselling and management. Since Saint Vincent’s declaration in 1989, adverse maternal and fetal outcomes, such as preeclampsia, perinatal mortality, congenital anomalies, and macrosomia, continue to be associated with type 1 diabetes. Although pregnancy is not considered an independent risk factor for the development of new onset microvascular complications, it is known to exacerbate pre-existing microvascular disease. Strict glycaemic control is the optimal management for pre-existing type 1 diabetes in pregnancy, as raised HbA1C is associated with increased risk of maternal and fetal complications. More recently, time in range on Continuous Glucose Monitoring glucose profiles has emerged as another useful evidence-based marker of fetal outcomes.

Objective: This review summarises the complications associated with pre-gestational type 1 diabetes, appropriate evidence-based management, including preparing for pregnancy, intrapartum and postpartum care.

Methods: A structured search of the PubMed and Cochrane databases was conducted. Peer-reviewed articles about complications and management guidelines on pre-gestational type 1 diabetes were selected and critically appraised.

Results: One hundred and twenty-three manuscripts were referenced and appraised in this review, and international guidelines were summarised.

Conclusion: This review provides a comprehensive overview of the recurring themes in the literature pertaining to type 1 diabetes in pregnancy: maternal and fetal complications, microvascular disease progression, and an overview of current guideline-specific management.


Pre-gestational diabetes, pre-existing diabetes, type 1 diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, insulin, diabetic complications in pregnancy, diabetes management in pregnancy


Barts and the London Medical School, Queen Mary University of London, St Bartholomew’s and Royal London Hospitals, Barts Health NHS Trust, Barts and the London Medical School, Queen Mary University of London

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