Pre-pregnancy planning essential for women with diabetes
Diabetes Ireland hosted an information evening for all women living with diabetes of childbearing age and their partners in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Santry on Thursday 20 September 2018.
This meeting provided information on how to access appropriate pre-pregnancy services, the steps women need to take prior to considering a pregnancy, information on what to expect during pregnancy as well as Nutrition & Lifestyle advice for before, during and after pregnancy. We had a fantastic turnout for our first public meeting regarding this subject area.
Pregnancy is typically a joyous event but for a woman with Diabetes, if a pregnancy is unplanned it can pose increased risks to both mother and baby. Having optimum diabetes control in the early stages of pregnancy is particularly crucial as it is in the first few weeks of pregnancy that the baby’s vital organs develop. At this stage of pregnancy, a woman may not even know she is pregnant and therefore will not be taking any steps to reduce the health risks to herself and the baby.
High blood sugars in early pregnancy, lack of folic acid supplementation and taking potentially harmful medications will all increase the risks to both mother and baby. The benefits of pre-pregnancy care are widely recognised, with fewer adverse maternal and foetal outcomes among women who adequately prepare for pregnancy versus women who have an unplanned pregnancy.
Ms. Clair Naughton, Diabetes Nurse Specialist with Diabetes Ireland said “studies show that attendance at pre-pregnancy clinics is not universal and many women with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes present with an unplanned pregnancy. The challenge is to get the message to women living with diabetes of the need to plan a pregnancy to ensure the best outcome for both mother and baby”.
Ireland has seen an increase in the number of women developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Diabetes Ireland welcomed the opportunity to hold this public meeting as it gave the platform for questions to be raised in a relaxed setting to the subject experts who work in this area on a daily basis. The aim of this meeting was to create further awareness regarding diabetes and pregnancy.