A new research project supported by Diabetes Australia and the Hunter Medical Research Institute is aiming to reduce the long term risks of developing type 2 diabetes for mothers who have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
Gestational diabetes occurs when higher than normal blood glucose levels first appears during pregnancy.
In the Hunter, approximately 350 women develop gestational diabetes each year. Alarmingly, this is a two-to-three fold increase over the past 10 years.
Women who have had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes within 5 to 10 years after the birth of their child. Additionally, children born to mothers with gestational diabetes are also at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In Australia, there are currently no services on offer to help mothers lower their risk of future type 2 diabetes after their baby is born.
The intervention trial from researchers at The University of Newcastle aims to lower the ongoing risk of type 2 diabetes. The study will include the rollout of one-on-one video consultations with a dietitian and exercise physiologist. It will also include a specifically tailored website with information on healthy eating and physical activity advice designed specifically for mothers with young children.
The intervention is intended to suit the lifestyle of the mothers of newborns taking into consideration the need for ease of access to services and the limitations that come with caring for a new baby.
Professor Clare Collins (UON) and Dr Megan Rollo (UON) research in conjunction with the HMRI Cardiovascular Research Program. Collaborators on the project include Professor Robin Callister (UON), Dr Katie-Jane Wynne (Hunter New England Health), Dr Elroy Aguiar (University of Massachusetts Amherst), Dr Melinda Hutchesson (UON) and Mr Ashley Adamson (Hunter New England Health). HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.