Free seminar for women with diabetes will help reduce high risk pregnancy

A seminar for women with diabetes will take place on April 9 in the Croí Heart and Stroke Centre, Moyola Lane, Newcastle, Galway.

This free event will provide up-to-date information on the best approaches to management of diabetes before, during and after pregnancy. An expert team of dieticians, midwives and doctors will also be available to answer all questions and interact with the women in attendance.

Pregnancy is associated with significant risk when diabetes is present in the mother. Studies from Ireland and internationally reveal increased rates of poor outcomes for women with type 1 and 2 diabetes in pregnancy including: a congenital malformation rate twice that of the background population, a five-fold increased risk of stillbirth, and a threefold increased risk of perinatal mortality. Those women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM ) also experience higher rates of delivery by Caesarean section and their babies have a higher risk of having a very high birthweight and low blood sugar levels after birth. In addition women with GDM have a very high chance of developing type 2 diabetes after the pregnancy and there is now increasing evidence to suggest that children born to women with diabetes have an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. The good news is that significantly improved outcomes may be achieved with structured clinical care programmes before, during, and after pregnancy.

Pre-pregnancy care is the focused care provided to women with diabetes who are planning pregnancy. Typically women in pre-pregnancy care are reviewed at one-three monthly intervals for six months prior to embarking on pregnancy to ensure that their diabetes control is optimized and they are as healthy as possibly before pregnancy. Professor Fidelma Dunne, who will be speaking at the seminar, said research reveals that women who attend a pre-pregnancy care programme are better prepared for pregnancy and their infants are four times less likely to suffer a poor outcome such as a congenital abnormality.

During pregnancy itself, women with diabetes need special attention whereby it is important for them to have two-weekly clinical reviews by the diabetes doctor and obstetrician. Very strict glucose control is necessary along with dietary changes and regular exercise, and extra monitoring of the baby is vital.

After pregnancy, insulin requirements change dramatically and close contact with the diabetes doctor is still necessary. Breastfeeding helps to stabilize glucose control and for women with GDM, it reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

To register to attend the seminar for women with diabetes for free visit www.croi.ie/womenwithdiabetes or contact Croí on 091 544310.

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