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The Challenges of Pregnant Women living with Diabetes

Oct 24, 2017

Women around the world are impacted by diabetes in many ways. Over half of the diabetes population are women, and many women (both with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes) will have pregnancies during their disease exposure. The incidence of gestational diabetes (GDM) also continues to rise, hence it has been estimated that a sixth of all pregnancies around the globe are now affected by hyperglycaemia.

Such pregnancies bring multiple hazards for the women, the foetus and their offspring. In low and middle income countries, the effect of diabetes in pregnancy can be very challenging. Limited resources and screening process means that there is a failure to detect hyperglycaemia and even when it is detected  there are inadequate resources to achieve an optimal level of glycaemic control. Clearly, there is a desperate need to identify effective strategies to help address this crisis.

In this discussion, we would love to hear from colleagues who may have developed innovative ways of working with women affected by diabetes in pregnancy in challenging circumstances. Sharing such experiences would provide important resources and ideas for others to try. It would also be helpful to hear of any innovations in relation to GDM and how we can reduce this burden on women. Moreover it can support us in identifying how we might also prevent them from going on to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Information about the discussion leader

This discussion will be moderated by Professor Angus Forbes from the United Kingdom, FEND Chair of Diabetes Nursing at King’s College London, specialist diabetes nurse at King’s College Hospital, Vice President of the International Diabetes Federation for 2016-17.


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Wendland EM, Torloni MR, Falavigna M, et al. Gestational diabetes and pregnancy outcomes - a systematic review of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Association of Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Groups (IADPSG) diagnostic criteria. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2012;12:23. doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-23.

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Farrar, D., Simmonds, M., Bryant, M., Sheldon, T., Tuffnell, D., Golder, S., Dunne, F. and Lawlor, D. (2016). Hyperglycaemia and risk of adverse perinatal outcomes: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ, p.i4694. (2017). International Diabetes Federation - WDD 2017. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Oct. 2017].