Pre-pregnancy care is key to better pregnancy outcomes for women with diabetes

The Diabetes Service at Galway University Hospitals will mark World Diabetes Day on Sunday November 14 by raising awareness of its pre-pregnancy diabetes care programme.

Pre-pregnancy care is one of the keys to achieving a better pregnancy outcome for women with the condition, research reveals.

The local programme, which runs at Galway University Hospitals and Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinalsoe, targets women aged 18 to 45 years with a history of diabetes.

It offers patients three to six sessions with a multi-professional team which focuses on issues such as, optimising blood glucose control, checking blood pressure and renal function, performing retinal screening, reviewing medication, starting the patient on folic acid and discussing general care prior to, during and after pregnancy.

Professor Fidelma Dunne, a consultant endocrinologist at GUH diabetes service, says pre-pregnancy care allows for a time prior to pregnancy to be devoted to maximising glucose control, taking folic acid and dealing with complications of diabetes, if any.

“Research carried (ATLANTIC DIP ) out by the Diabetes and Obstetric services shows that women with diabetes, Type 1, Type 2 have a poorer pregnancy outcome when compared to women without diabetes. This may be due to a lack of awareness about the benefits of pre-pregnancy care.”

“Diabetes Education and Prevention” is the World Diabetes Day theme for the period 2009 to 2013. The campaign slogan for 2010 is “Let’s take control of diabetes now.”

World Diabetes Day was introduced in 1991 by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in response to the alarming rise in diabetes around the world. In 2007, the United Nations marked the Day for the first time with the passage of the United Nations World Diabetes Day Resolution in December 2006, which made the existing World Diabetes Day an official United Nations World Health Day.

For further information on the local pre-pregnancy care service contact Galway University Hospitals at (091 ) 542039 or (086 ) 2495880 or Portiuncula Hospital at (09096 ) 48335 or (086 ) 2495880.

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