Your care after the birth

This section is about diabetes-related care. You may also find the NICE information for the public on postnatal care useful (see other NICE guidance).

If you had diabetes before you were pregnant

If you already had diabetes and used insulin during your pregnancy, you should reduce the amount you are taking straight after the birth, and check your blood glucose levels carefully until you are taking the right dose. This is because your body will need less insulin to control your blood glucose after your baby is born. Your care team will help you with this.

You will be at increased risk of hypoglycaemia after giving birth, particularly if you are breastfeeding. So you should always have some food nearby in case you need it before or during breastfeeding.

If you had type 2 diabetes before you were pregnant and have been taking metformin or glibenclamide, you can carry on doing so – or you can start taking them again straight after the birth if you stopped during pregnancy. But if you are breastfeeding you shouldn't start taking any other tablets for lowering your blood glucose.

If you changed treatments for complications of diabetes (for example, changing your medication for high blood pressure, or stopping statins) before you got pregnant, you should not usually start taking your usual medication again if you are breastfeeding, unless your care team says it is safe to do so.

If you had gestational diabetes

If you had gestational diabetes, you should stop taking all medication for diabetes straight after the birth.

Before you go home, your blood glucose level should be tested to make sure it is back to normal. Your care team should remind you about the symptoms of high blood glucose and what to do if they occur.

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