Pregnancy for women who are over 30 with type one diabetes

I have read a few articles about type one diabetes affecting fertility. I am 25 and cannot see myself being ready to have children for at least 5 years, plus. I know having a HbA1c under 6 has a lot to do with a healthy pregnancy but I was looking to hear others stories/ feedback on getting pregnant. Children are very important to me and I have been scared my whole life I wont be able to have one because of diabetes.

Could people please share if they have gotten/ tried to get pregnant 30 + , how long they have had diabetes, and their A1c?

I am 25, had diabetes for 17 years and my HbA1c is 6.8

Thanks for sharing :)

I have had type 1 diabetes for 23 years. I have never had the best of control, especially during my teen years. I always thought I would have a hard time getting pregnant, but that has not been the case. I was 25 when I had my first child, but I didn’t eat as I should have and didnt have good control. My oldest was born with a heart problem, an atrial septal defect. I had my second child at 27, I still didn’t have great control, but she has no problems. I was 29 when I had my third child and got on an insulin pump during the pregnancy. I did so much better, had great control and he was my first baby that didnt have to spend days in the NICU. I had my fourth child at age 31 and things went great. I am now 35 and we were totally surprised to find out I am pregnant with our fifth child. I am much more worried than before, but I am trying not to stress to much, it’s just not helpful. I have been truly blessed. My entire life I have known I wanted a big family, I just didn’t think I would. Good luck to you! I think it’s great you’re thinking things through. Diabetic pregnancies are HARD work, but totally doable and totally worth it!

Hi Catherine. Unfortunately there seems to be so little information out there for pregnancy and T1. However, that is how I stumbled upon TuDiabetes–needing support. I had my first, and so far my only child at 30. I had been on the pump for 3 years at the time and had an A1C about the same as you (6.7-6.9). (I thought “they” recommended A1Cs be under 7.0–are there new guidelines?) I do recommend being on a pump (for pregnancy) if you are not already. At the time I wasn’t really trying to get pregnant, but I also wasn’t preventing it. I had been off the pill for at least a year and a half and most of that time I had a very stressful job. Because of the experience of the women in my family, I do not consider myself that fertile… Once I took a lower stress job, it happened! I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy except for the diabetes I guess. My son was born as healthy as for a normal person. I hope to have two more and have been trying half heartedly for about 10 months now. Don’t know if I’m having issues or what…I do not want to have children after 36 and I am 32 now. I’ve had diabetes for 21 years, had poor control off and on until I got my pump. I eat normal, but what I consider healthy: rarely, if ever, have fast food, soda or fruit juice, and I eat balanced meals for the most part, and treat myself (probably a little too often.) My current A1C is 5.9. During pregnancy, your hormones go absolutely wacko and you find out how much they really do affect insulin needs. I actually had several instances where I needed help because I had gotten low BG. Part of that was still learning how being in good control affected how I detected lows. For instance, rather than getting shaky and weak, the red flags were more subtle, getting warm or caught up in my activity at the moment, if that makes sense. I had four seizures which scared me to death about the health of my child. But he is healthy. I can’t believe the recommendation for A1c is below 6–Once I got pregnant, mine went down to as low as 5.3, which I consider dangerous, not good. Come on, we’re diabetic, our A1cs are naturally going to be higher than the normal person. I know this is long, and I have so much more that I could say, but one last thing…my health since my pregnancy: I know more about how to be in good control than ever before. I got carpal tunnel and had to have surgery because of it. I have a blind spot in my eye which doesn’t really affect my vision, but it has been scary to think what could happen. (I’ve been to several opthamologist and a renown retinologist and they cannot detect this spot!!! In fact, they all say my eyes look better than someone who has had diabetes for over 20 years. Somehow, this is not all that reassuring.) I would still do it all over again and still want more kids. Also, sometimes I think that healthcare proffessionals hear “diabetes” and instantly make the judgment that your problems are instantly due to the disease! For instance, I’ve known several women whose pregnancy caused carpal tunnel. I think your ability to get pregnant has less to do with your diabetes (within fair contol) than it does your own body’s diposition to get pregnant. In the end, ask your question to your gynecologist and get some second opinions. Find a GOOD OB when the time comes. (I had a terrible one. He compared my seizures from low BG to those of his epileptics!) By the way, apparently there is a book just out by one of the members of this community about T1 and pregnancy. Sorry, I don’t have that information, just remember reading it recently.

Hello Catherine. I’ve been type 1 for 11 yrs and some would say I’ve always had pertty decent control and some would say eh soso. I was 32 when I found out I was pergnant with my son. At the time I was so relieved that I was using a pump and lucky that my a1c was 5.9 because after all I didn’t plan to get pregnant. I started seeing an OB and after a couple months, they referred me to a maternal fetal medicine (high risk) team at Magee Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh. It wasn’t really because there was anything wrong, but because they knew more about diabetes and the pump. Seeing the team in Pittsburgh was the best thing I could’ve done because the high risk dr’s know what it takes for you to have healthy baby. I went there not even thinking my situation was high risk which I think made it easier to basically do what they said. Everything went really well in my pregnancy although he was early at 35 weeks. He was also breech which I already knew before hand, but there was no c-section scheduled because babies can turn around fairly quickly so we thought waiting it out was best. Of course when my water broke it caught everyone by surprise but that is a whole other story. lol. He never did turn so I ended up having a c-section anyway. Lukas was born 5 lbs 11 oz. I think if I did injections while pregnant I would’ve went crazy. I kept my pump on through it all - even labor. My rates were cut in half which worked great. A great book to check out is Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby. There’s a lot of great info and input from type1’s that have had children.

Hi Catherine,

I had my first child at 37, after living with type 1 since age 7 and doing fertility treatment, including IVF, for a year. I am also the author of “Balancing Pregnancy WIth Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby,” which includes a chapter on infertility and pregnancy loss for those of us with type 1 or type 2. (And thanks, Jane, for the mention!)

It’s pretty clear that age, and not diabetes, was the reason for my infertility: my A1cs were always in the mid-to-low sixes as I tried to conceive. The doctors I talked to for my book all said that diabetes in itself doesn’t directly cause infertility as long as your blood sugars are in tight (i.e., A1cs under 7.0, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association, or even lower, as recommended by some other doctors, but not all) control. If they are higher, it is possible that you wouldn’t conceive because your body realizes that high sugars make it a less hospitable place to nurture a baby. At the same time, plenty of women conceive and carry babies to term with higher blood sugars, so that is not always the case.

Also, women with type 2, as well as some with type 1, are prone to having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is a condition where the woman doesn’t ovulate every month, or on time, which can definitely lead to infertility problems. There are medications, such as Clomid, which can help regulate ovulation if you find you are not ovulating on time each month.

I definitely know of other type 1 women who have conceived in their mid-to-late 30s and 40s, some on their own and some with infertility treatment. This is anecdotal (i.e. they were either friends of mine or were people I interviewed for the book), but all have have delivered healthy babies after maintaining tight blood sugar control before and during their pregnancies.

If you want to have a child but don’t want to do it in your 20s, and your diabetes is under tight control while you’re trying to conceive, it should be possible, particularly if you are open to the possibility that you may need to talk to a doctor who specializes in infertility treatment. Typically, infertility is diagnosed if you’ve been actively trying to conceive for a year if you are under age 35, and for six months if you are 35 or older. Of course, there are other medical reasons that some people cannot conceive at all, that have nothing to do with diabetes, but that is a separate issue altogether.

Good luck!


Cheryl Alkon
Balancing Pregnancy With Pre-Existing Diabetes: Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby

I had all of mine young (I am not 30 yet) but Kerri just had a baby after 20+ years of D… you can look over her blog to get an idea of her experience -

I only had an a1c UNDER 6 once during any of my three pregnancies… and I has having constantly and very dangerous lows… not something I would ever recommend. My doctors were fine with a1c’s in the mid to low 6’s while I was pregnant. I never had any complications, and my babies for the most part weren’t “huge” (at least, not any bigger than babies in our family tend to be). You get tons of extra monitoring, and will be treated like a ticking time bomb while they try to find any little thing wrong, but otherwise, there’s no reason to think you can’t have a “normal” pregnancy.

I really think the biggest factor in a successful pregnancy is if you already have any kind of complications, and how that may impact things… like how you need to deliver and how much “extra” extra monitoring you might need - it’s important to figure those things out before you get pregnant :slight_smile:

Thank you in advance for your book. I’m going to get my hands on it soon!

Jane–absolutely! Let me know if you’d like to order it directly from me. I sell autographed copies through Paypal, and ship them out immediately. It’s also available through the publisher, Demos Health, and through Amazon and other online retailers.

I also blogged about trying to get and stay pregnant with type 1 at Managing the Sweetness Within, My blog became the basis for the book, but in the book, I interviewed another 50 or so women with type 1 or type 2 and a dozen medical experts, while my blog details just my own experiences.

Hi!!! I’m going to be 33 in a few weeks. I’ve had type 1 since I was 3, so I’m approaching 30 years with it. I have a 2 year old daughter and 4 month old twin sons, so I would have to say that for me, the diabetes absolutely didn’t affect my fertility. :wink: And btw, even with a more difficult, higher risk twin pregnancy, my boys are 100% healthy! :slight_smile: If you (or anyone else on TuD!) have any questions about pregnancy, feel free to ask or send me a private message. I love sharing my experiences and encouraging other type 1 women! :slight_smile:

I got pregnant about 2 years after diagnosis about 34 years ago. I decided we should do it sooner rather than later. I was young, only 23 and got preggers almost immediately, so I can’t speak about age factors and had no glucometer or pumps or disposable flex pens! Tested with little strips that I ran through my urine. I never felt better than while pregnant. Now a days with pumps and CGM’s and all it must be much, much easier. The only oddity was they did an amnio (now it’s a common test) to check for lung development and induced me two weeks early I had a healthy 8# baby girl. She’s all grown up, is happy and healthy and has a baby of her own. Check with your Dr’s and if they’re cool - Go for it! Good luck.

I'm two years late to this conversation, but I wanted to say that I am 29, have had diabetes for 20 years, and now have three healthy kids. My A1C was at 8.something when my first son was conceived (2008), and fortunately he was fine (3 years old now). I've kept it low ever since then, and have had two more kids. One of my boys only has one kidney, but they say it's not related to the diabetes. I think 6.8 is a pretty good number, but the doctors will be happier if you can get it lower. You may find that in early pregnancy your A1Cs go down even without a lot of interference, because I think insulin resistance may be decreased during early pregnancy (but increased later on).

I really hope to have a lot of children, and I blog about my experiences during pregnancy and labor and postpartum at, if you want to check it out. I hope you do have children some day!