Local women with diabetes are being urged to take precautions if they are planning to get pregnant, as figures show that less than 50% have ideal blood sugar levels for a healthy pregnancy.
"This is the result of a national audit on diabetes in pregnancy, and the North West is no different," said Dr Parameshwara Prakash, Consultant Physician for Diabetes at Rochdale Infirmary.
"If you have diabetes and are planning to have a child, discuss it with your GP, nurse or specialist. It's important to have your blood sugar levels under control; otherwise there are risks of miscarriage, premature delivery and other complications during pregnancy."
Reviewing medication is also important, as Dr Sonal Sharma, GP and NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group's (HMR CCG) Diabetes Lead, explained: "There are only certain diabetes medications that pregnant women can take, so if you are planning to have a child, review your medication with a healthcare professional to establish which is the most appropriate to use.
"Also, the recommendation is that women with diabetes should have a higher strength of folic acid – 5mg is the recommended daily dosage."
There is an online leaflet available for women with diabetes planning pregnancy, with useful information and advice.