Diabetes in pregnancy: how nurses can help provide optimal care

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Karen Bartha discusses the role of primary care healthcare professionals in the management of pregnant women with pre‑existing diabetes.

It is estimated that 5% of women giving birth in England and Wales have either pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes, of which 87.5% are estimated to have gestational diabetes, 7.5% have type 1 diabetes, and 5% have type 2 diabetes.1 Since diabetes in pregnancy is associated with risks to both the woman and the developing foetus,2 continued attention must be paid to the well-being of these women prior to, and throughout, pregnancy. While much of this care will fall to specialist antenatal and diabetes services, the role of the primary care healthcare professional (HCP) must be considered in the provision of this care. This article discusses the optimum care of women with diabetes who are planning pregnancy, and pregnant women with pre-existing diabetes. 

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