Diabetes information booklet launched

An information booklet on the management of diabetes in pregnancy aims to promote high quality care and service to women with the condition to ensure the outcome for mother and baby matches that of non-diabetic women.

The publication entitled “Clinical Practices - Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Pregnancy” was launched at University Hospital Galway. It is intended for use by midwives, registered nurses, obstetricians, physicians and GPs responsible for the care of women with diabetes who are pregnant or who are planning a pregnancy and for women with gestational diabetes.

The guidelines were drawn up by Professor Fidelma Dunne, consultant endocrinologist at Galway University Hospitals and head of the School of Medicine at NUI Galway and the ATLANTIC DIP research group. They provide a common framework for professionals involved in the care of pregnant women at risk of, or with, gestational diabetes and those with pre-existing diabetes, type 1 and 2.

Diabetes is the most common medical disorder of pregnancy and complicates one in 200 pregnancies in Ireland. Even with recent improvements in diabetic and obstetric care, the risk of stillbirth is five times and perinatal mortality is 3.5 times greater than non diabetic pregnant women. In addition, the incidence of congenital malformations remains twice the rate as for non-diabetic pregnancies. The number of women with established type 2 diabetes entering pregnancy is also on the increase and represents 25 per cent of women with pre-gestational diabetes at antenatal clinics. Research through ATLANTIC DIP has identified that a further one in 10 women with no known diabetes will develop gestational diabetes in pregnancy.

The new booklet covers areas such as preconceptual care, gestational diabetes, antenatal care, management during delivery, postnatal care and care of the newborn.

Professor Fidelma Dunne says the guidelines are an aid for professionals who deliver care to women with diabetes before, during and after pregnancy.

“We hope to update them on a regular basis as new information through research appears through our own work and internationally. We are also developing a booklet for patients which will be available soon. All these tools will be available on the ATLANTIC DIP website early in 2010.”

ATLANTIC-DIP is a research partnership between five ante-natal centres on the west coast of Ireland - Galway University Hospitals, Letterkenny General Hospital, Sligo General Hospital, Portiuncla Hospital, Ballinasloe, and Mayo General Hospital. It was established in 2005 and is funded by the Health Research Board. It focuses on research, audit, clinical care and professional and patient education in order to improve outcomes for pregnancies complicated by diabetes.

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