Diabetes in pregnancy: management of diabetes and its complications from preconception to the postnatal period (NG3)

Jonathan Webber, Mary Charlton, Nina Johns


In February 2015 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published new guidance (NG3) on the management of diabetes in pregnancy. Care teams need to be aware of this guidance and implement its recommendations. These include preconception care with target HbA1c 48 mmol/mol. Women at risk of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) should have a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Diagnostic criteria for GDM have changed to fasting glucose of 5.6 mmol/L or above or 2 hour glucose of 7.8 mmol/L or above.

Glycaemic targets in all diabetic pregnancies have changed to fasting glucose below 5.3 mmol/L (4–5.2 mmol/L if on insulin) and 1 hour postprandial glucose below 7.8 mmol/L if these can be achieved safely. Continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pump therapy should not be used routinely but can be used if glycaemic control is problematic. Capillary ketone testing should be routine for women with type 1 diabetes when hyperglycaemic and for all women with diabetes including, GDM when acutely unwell.

More flexibility is offered around recommended delivery timing: 37+0 weeks to 38+6 weeks for women with types 1 and 2 diabetes; prior to 40+6 in GDM (and earlier if complications arise). Postnatal testing following GSM should be by fasting glucose (not OGTT) at 6–13 weeks post partum. Testing later than this can use HbA1c.

Introducing these changes will have resource implications, including a likely increase in the number of women diagnosed with GDM.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.15277/bjdvd.2015.029


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