Diabetes in pregnancy: are we providing the best care?

This third and final report of the CEMACH national diabetes programme comes at an important time in the national drive to improve services for women with diabetes in pregnancy. The National Service Framework (NSF) for Diabetes requires the NHS to develop, implement and monitor policies that seek to empower and support women with diabetes to optimise the outcomes of their pregnancy. The CEMACH report shows that, whilst progress has been made in improving services for women with diabetes and their babies, there is much still to be done to meet the standards recommended by the NSF. Too many women continue to be poorly prepared for pregnancy in the critical areas of glycaemic control and folic acid supplementation. The report underlines the need for an increased focus on diabetes preconception care services and the development of strategies to educate women with diabetes of childbearing age. The growing proportion of women with type 2 diabetes during pregnancy, many of whom are from minority ethnic groups, presents an additional challenge for health services in developing responsive and accessible services.

This CEMACH report has identifi ed several areas of good clinical practice during pregnancy in women with pre-existing diabetes. However, there continue to be areas where there is room for improvement, including antenatal fetal surveillance, glycaemic control during labour and delivery and postnatal diabetes care. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is currently in the fi nal stages of development of its new guideline for the management of diabetes in pregnancy. This guideline, when taken together with the CEMACH report, will provide local health services with an unprecedented wealth of material on which to base their development of improved services for women with diabetes in pregnancy.




A4, 152pp, report
Target group
Healthcare professionals