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Understanding the emotional impact of gestational diabetes

Project summary

Women’s perspectives on a subsequent pregnancy after gestational diabetes

Dr Haddrill would like to understand how women with gestational diabetes feel after going through their pregnancy, whether they change their lifestyle afterwards and if it influences their decision to having another baby. This short study will build a basis for further research to improve existing therapies and develop new ones for women with gestational diabetes.

Background to research

Studies outside the UK suggest that women have a strong emotional response to being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. They’re motivated to change their lifestyle to reduce the risks to their baby’s health and the risk of a complicated birth. However, after the birth some women tend to lose their motivation and don’t stick to their new lifestyles, which would help to reduce their risk of future gestational and Type 2 diabetes. Dr Haddrill’s team have recently completed a study exploring how pregnant women manage their gestational diabetes. Now, they want to focus their studies on how having gestational diabetes impacts on any subsequent pregnancies and how the women prepare for it.

Research aims

Dr Haddrill will be conducting in-depth interviews to understand how women who have had gestational diabetes in the past go on to have a subsequent pregnancy, and how they prepared for the new pregnancy given their past experiences. The interviews will be analysed to identify common themes, and Dr Haddrill hopes to use her findings as a foundation for further research aiming to developing better support and therapies to improve both the short- and long-term health of mothers and babies.

Potential benefit to people with diabetes

Diabetes UK aims to provide support to all people affected by diabetes. This study will help us to understand how women who have had gestational diabetes in the past feel about going through a second pregnancy, and what challenges they face. It will provide important insight into how we can support women better, and is an important step towards better guidance and treatments. 

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