Medications, folic acid and vitamins 

You should avoid any medications which may be harmful to your pregnancy but you should also take folic acid and vitamins. This advice is applicable to anyone who is planning to have a baby but it may be more relevant to women with diabetes. 

Medications 

Some medications can be potentially harmful during pregnancy, especially certain blood pressure tablets, which are often used by people with diabetes. You should particularly avoid ACE Inhibitors (eg Ramipril) and ARB’s (eg Candesartan). Your doctors or pharmacists can talk to you about alternative blood pressure medications (such as Labetolol and Methyl Dopa) to use during pregnancy if necessary. In addition, you should avoid cholesterol-lowering medications such as “statins”. Ideally, you should stop taking all these medications at least three months before you fall pregnant. If you are taking other medications and you’re not sure whether they are safe to continue with, your doctor or pharmacist can advise you. 

Folic acid and vitamins 

All women planning to have a baby should aim to take folic acid for at least three months before pregnancy until the fourteenth week of pregnancy. It is recommended that women with diabetes should take a higher dose, a 5mg tablet, which your doctor can prescribe. If you are waiting for a prescription it is better to take an over-the-counter supplement or pregnancy multi-vitamin (which contains a lower dose of 400mcg) than none at all. 

Women with diabetes who are pregnant are advised to take 75mg of aspirin from fourteen weeks onward. This is because the risk of pre-eclampsia is higher for women with diabetes and this risk is lowered by taking aspirin. 

All pregnant women should take vitamin D (at least 10mcg), which is contained in many pregnancy vitamins. 


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