Volume 23, Number 2 - August 2020

NDSS information and support for women with gestational diabetes – an update

By
Dr Melinda Morrison

BSc, MSc, PhD, Grad Cert Diab Ed.

NDSS Diabetes in Pregnancy Priority Area Lead

Melinda is an APD and CDE with more than 20 years’ experience in diabetes education. She has worked for Diabetes NSW ACT since 1999 and from 2013-16 was employed as the National Program Leader for the NDSS Diabetes in Pregnancy National Development Program which focused on initiatives to support women with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to plan and prepare for pregnancy. In 2014 she was awarded a PhD by the University of Newcastle for her research into postnatal health and lifestyle behaviours of Australian women with gestational diabetes. Melinda has published articles in a number of other consumer publications and medical journals. Melinda works closes with the NDSS Diabetes in Pregnancy Expert Reference Group in ensuring the delivery of up-to-date, evidence-based NDSS information and support for women with diabetes.

Contact Melinda: E: melindam@diabetesnsw.com.au

Introduction

The National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) provides women with gestational diabetes access to subsidised diabetes products as well as information, education and support services to help manage gestational diabetes. This includes the National Gestational Diabetes Register, as well as a range of NDSS resources.

National Gestational Diabetes Register improvement project

The National Gestational Diabetes Register was established in 2011 to assist in the postnatal follow-up and care of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes. All women registered on the NDSS with gestational diabetes are automatically included on the National Gestational Diabetes Register. Reminders for regular type 2 diabetes screening are sent to both women on the Register and their nominated general practitioner (GP). Women also receive information on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in the future.

In 2018, a comprehensive evaluation of the National Gestational Diabetes Register was undertaken with both women on the Register, and GPs. The review provided key recommendations for improvements to the Register. As a result, a project was commenced to update Register materials, revise the schedule and format of communications and increase awareness of the National Gestational Diabetes Register.

New letters and flyers and email communications were developed, as well as awareness materials for women on the Register and GPs, and a GP flowchart for gestational diabetes follow-up. A project is also underway to translate National Gestational Diabetes Register communications into 10 languages – Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Vietnamese, Turkish, Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Nepali and Bengali.

NOTE: Due to COVID-19 there have been temporary changes to advice for postnatal testing. As a result, National Gestational Diabetes Register communications have been modified, with updated communications due to resume after the pandemic.

Understanding gestational diabetes video series

These videos are about gestational diabetes, how it is managed and where women can get information and support. The videos share health professional expertise, as well as the experiences of three women who have recently had gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is explained with a short animation. Topics in the series include:

  • What is gestational diabetes?
  • Looking after gestational diabetes
  • Healthy eating
  • Physical activity
  • Blood glucose monitoring
  • Medication
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Labour and birth
  • After your baby is born
  • Future health

The videos can be a useful resource for health professionals working with women who are newly diagnosed with gestational diabetes. With COVID-19 these videos have provided an additional support for diabetes health professionals and women with GDM to access timely information during a period of reduced onsite appointments.

The series of 10 short video clips can be accessed from the NDSS website at:

ndss.com.au/gestationaldiabetesvideos

Caring for yourself and your baby booklet

The NDSS booklet Gestational Diabetes: Caring for yourself and your baby is sent to all women diagnosed with gestational diabetes and registered on the NDSS. The booklet provides an overview of gestational diabetes and how it is managed during pregnancy, labour and birth, and after the baby is born. A full review and update of this booklet was completed in 2019 and the updated booklet is available online at:

ndss.com.au/caring-for-yourself-and-your-baby

Life after gestational diabetes booklet

The NDSS booklet Life after gestational diabetes is sent to women on the National Gestational Diabetes Register after their baby is born (10 months after NDSS registration). The booklet provides information on postnatal follow-up and screening, healthy eating, physical activity and planning for future pregnancies. A full review and update of the booklet was completed in 2019 and the updated booklet is available online at:

ndss.com.au/life-after-gestational-diabetes

NDSS Understanding gestational diabetes fact sheet

The fact sheet Understanding gestational diabetes provides an overview of gestational diabetes and how it is managed. This fact sheet is available on the NDSS website:

ndss.com.au/understanding-gestational-diabetes-fact-sheet

Translated resources

The NDSS fact sheet Understanding gestational diabetes is available to be downloaded in Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Turkish, Urdu, Bengali, Hindi, Samoan, Greek, Italian and Spanish.

The NDSS booklets Gestational Diabetes: Caring for yourself and your baby and Life after gestational diabetes are currently being translated into Hindi, Punjabi, Vietnamese, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Arabic, Turkish, Nepali, Bengali and Urdu.  Online versions of these NDSS booklets will soon be available.

Translated resources are available from the ‘Information in your language’ section of the NDSS website:

ndss.com.au/information-in-your-language

Acknowledgements

The NDSS Diabetes in Pregnancy Expert Reference Group 2020: Melinda Morrison, National Lead and Advisor, NDSS Diabetes in Pregnancy Priority Area, Diabetes Australia, Canberra ACT and Diabetes NSW & ACT, Glebe NSW; Glynis Ross (chair), Lead Endocrinologist in the Diabetes and Pregnancy Service, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown NSW and Senior Endocrinologist, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, Bankstown NSW; Ralph Audehm, General Practitioner, Carlton Family Medical, Carlton VIC; Alison Barry, Credentialled Diabetes Educator and Midwife, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Herston, QLD; Christel Hendrieckx, Senior Research Fellow, The Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes, Deakin University, Geelong VIC; Alison Nankervis, Senior Physician to the Diabetes Service, The Royal Women’s Hospital and Clinical Head, Diabetes, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville VIC; Cynthia Porter, Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian/Credentialled Diabetes Educator, Geraldton Diabetes Clinic, Geraldton WA;

Discussion

There are currently no comments.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Other Articles in this Edition