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Monitoring and managing mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus: a nursing perspective

Authors Berry D, Johnson Q, Stuebe A

Received 4 June 2015

Accepted for publication 24 August 2015

Published 20 October 2015 Volume 2015:5 Pages 91—97

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/NRR.S64534

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Cindy Hudson


Diane C Berry,1 Quinetta B Johnson,2,3 Alison M Stuebe2,3

1The University of North Carolina School of Nursing, 2Women's Primary Health Care, The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, 3The University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Abstract: Women diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) must work in partnership with their health care team to improve both maternal and fetal outcomes. This team may include physicians, midwives, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, registered nurses, certified diabetes educators, and registered dietitians. Management should include medical nutrition therapy, self-monitoring of blood glucose with tight control, and exercise to prevent postprandial hyperglycemia. Approximately 80% of women diagnosed with GDM are well controlled with medical nutrition therapy, self-monitoring of blood glucose, and exercise; however, approximately 20% require medication to bring their blood glucose levels under control during pregnancy. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus decreases dramatically for women who engage in interventions to lose weight postpartum, improve their nutrition and increase their physical activity. Therefore, postpartum women with GDM should be retested and reclassified at 6 weeks postpartum and strongly encouraged to lose weight through proper nutrition and exercise.

Keywords: gestational diabetes mellitus, medical nutrition therapy, self-monitoring of blood glucose, exercise, medication, type 2 diabetes

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