Specialist clinics herald the arrival of six bouncing babies at The Royal Oldham Hospital

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Specialist clinics herald the arrival of six bouncing babies at The Royal Oldham Hospital
13 October 2017

SIX ladies from the Oldham area have thanked the staff in the joint diabetes antenatal clinic at The Royal Oldham Hospital for their expert care in their antenatal period.

All the ladies have type one diabetes which means that there are increased risks associated with pregnancy and so specialist input was required throughout their pregnancy.

Diabetes is a condition in which the amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood is too high.  Glucose comes from the digestion of starchy foods, such as bread and rice.  Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps the body to use glucose for energy.   There are two main types of diabetes, Type 1 DM is when the pancreas produces no insulin and people require insulin injections for life.  Approximately 10-15 % of people with diabetes will have type 1 Diabetes.  Type 2 DM is more common and occurs when the pancreas doesn’t make sufficient amounts of insulin or the insulin is not effective. It can be managed with diet and lifestyle, and or medications or insulin.

Women with diabetes have a higher increased risk of certain complications in early pregnancy if their blood glucose levels are elevated; there is an increased risk of miscarriage and an increased risk of the baby having a congenital abnormality.

As pregnancy progress if the blood glucose levels are not tightly managed there is an increased risk of having a larger baby which can lead to a difficult birth, there is also an increased risk of early delivery and induction of labour.

Linda Adams, lead nurse diabetes at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “Diabetes is a lifelong condition and if you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes your diabetes treatment is likely to need adjusting during your pregnancy, depending on your needs.

“We already facilitate joint obstetric and diabetes clinics for pregnant ladies and because the incidence of type 1 diabetes is not as prevalent as the other types of diabetes we only tend to see a couple of ladies with type 1 diabetes at any one time in the specialist antenatal clinic.  It was therefore quite unusual when six ladies with type 1 diabetes all needed our expertise and care at the same time.”

In order to manage their diabetes more effectively and intensely each of these ladies’ diabetes was managed with specialist insulin pump therapy. 

Extra diabetes clinics were put on for the ladies to give them sufficient time to get the right support from the hospital and each lady was seen by the diabetes specialist nurses at least fortnightly throughout their whole pregnancy.

Linda added: “We wanted to give these ladies the best care possible to ensure that they had safe pregnancies and ultimately healthy babies.  With the help of our colleagues in the ante natal clinic we feel that we delivered this and share the joy of the ladies following the birth of their beautiful babies.”

Rebecca Webster said: “I have been type 1 diabetic for 14 years. When I found out that I was carrying my son I informed my diabetic team at The Royal Oldham Hospital and they and the maternity staff were amazing. I was seen by my dietician, the midwives and the diabetic specialist nurses almost every single week.

“The midwives that took care of me and my son were incredible and did everything they could for us. They went completely out of their way to help in any way that they could.  Having my son was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I'd like to publicly thank the professionals at The Royal Oldham Hospital for their help and support.”

Lucy from Royton gave birth to Jessica Rose on 15 April 2017 at 37 weeks.   She said: “I have had type 1 diabetes for nearly 18 years and found having type 1 in pregnancy was a difficult but rewarding challenge. The support received from the teams has been absolutely brilliant and with being a high risk pregnancy I have been looked after from day one.”

Pictured from the left: Linda Adams, lead nurse diabetes; Lucy Todd, Rebecca Webster and Laura Travis with their babies and Jane Bennion, diabetes specialist nurse at The Royal Oldham Hospital.