The records of 23 insulin-dependent diabetics who had serial ophthalmological examinations during pregnancy and afterwards were reviewed. Fourteen pregnancies occurred in 10 patients with no retinopathy; 30% of these patients had obstetric complications. The mean birthweight was 3.5 kg. Ophthalmological status was unchanged in this group. In eight patients with background retinopathy during 10 pregnancies the obstetric complication rate was 70% and mean birthweight 3.3 kg. During pregnancy there was no evidence of progression of retinopathy. One patient developed proliferative retinopathy 4 years later. Five patients had proliferative retinopathy. The mean age (32 years) and duration of diabetes at index pregnancy (18 years) was greater than for the other groups. All patients developed pre-eclampsia and mean birthweight was 2.8 kg. Four of these patients required argon laser photocoagulation in association with pregnancy for progressive retinopathy; one died subsequently from end-stage diabetic nephropathy; the other four have maintained their pre-pregnancy visual acuity from 4 to 10 years.