Diabetes in Pregnancy
Government Policy in Relation to Current Health Issues
City and Islington College
Table of Contents
Risk Factors 2
Complications and Incidence 3
This report will look at the incidence and effects of Diabetes in pregnancy and evaluate whether current Government Policies are successful in managing the risks associated with this condition. The information will be gathered from Government Reports and Policies that focus on the incidence and management of Diabetes during pregnancy.
Diabetes is a condition where the individual is unable to maintain adequate glycaemic control. This can be due to an absence of insulin, the hormone that metabolises fats, proteins and carbohydrates (Type 1). Alternatively, the individual may have a lack of or resistance to the hormone (Type 2). Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) is a form of Diabetes that only affects pregnant women and usually occurs during later pregnancy.
Treatment for Diabetes includes dietary and exercise advice and/or oral or intramuscular medication to maintain glycaemic control (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014a; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014b).
Table 1: Risk Factors for Diabetes (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014a; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2014b; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2015)
Type 1 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes
Destruction of islet cells in the pancreas by virus or infection
Previous stillbirth or neonatal death
Previous baby > 4.5kg
Medical history (strokes, mental illness, polycystic ovaries)
Medication (anti psychotics)
Complications and Incidence
Diabetes is one of the biggest health concerns for the United Kingdom: over 2.6 million people in the have a diagnosis of Diabetes. It is estimated that up to half a million more people have Diabetes and are unaware. Most people with Diabetes have Type 2, with only 10% of those diagnosed having Type 1 (Diabetes UK, 2010).
5% of the women who give birth in England and Wales have Diabetes; the vast majority of these Diabetic mothers have GDM whilst approximately 13% have either Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2015). The number of cases of maternal diabetes is rising due to increasing levels of obesity and the high influx of ethnic minorities to the UK.
All types of Diabetes carry the risk of several health related complications to both the individual, and in the case of pregnant women, the fetus/infant also (see table 2). Pregnant women with Diabetes are at additional risk of these complications as well as an increased risk of stillbirth, neonatal death and maternal morbidity, partially due to the fact that the fetus is likely to be larger than average with broad shoulders. The infant is also at increased risk of complications