UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology adds gestational diabetes education to its roster of programs and support services

Gestational-DiabetesUM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology adds gestational diabetes education to its roster of programs and support services

The University of Maryland Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology has announced a new class, Gestational Diabetes, to be offered on a weekly basis beginning in March on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. This class will address the topic of pregnancy-related diabetes and is open to any woman with a referral from a primary care or OB-GYN care provider.

Studies suggest that gestational diabetes now affects between seven and 18 percent of pregnant women in America. (The rate varies depending on racial/ethnic background.) Among the risk factors for gestational diabetes are family history of diabetes; high blood pressure; excess weight prior to pregnancy; and previous birth of a child weighing more than nine pounds.

According to Doris Allen, RN, CDE, lead educator for UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a form of diabetes that increases risk of complications during pregnancy and birth. Usually diagnosed mid-way through pregnancy, the condition occurs when pregnancy hormones block insulin, causing increased blood glucose levels. While GDM may go away after pregnancy, women who have had GDM are seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. The children of pregnancies affected by GDM may also have a greater risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

“GDM can be detrimental to both mother and child,” says Allen. “We want to make help women with this condition understand how to take care of themselves during their pregnancy to minimize the risk of harm to themselves and their babies.”

The Center also continues to offer classes in diabetes self-management to those living with diabetes. Two sessions are scheduled in March, as follows: Tuesdays, March 4-25, 9a.m.-12 noon; and Wednesdays, March 5-19, 1:30-4:30 p.m. These classes provide detailed medical information and strategies enabling patients to manage their diabetes for optimal wellness.

The newly-formed Diabetes Support Group Meeting will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 18, 5:30 p.m. The topic for the meeting will be Controlling Diabetes Burnout.

Diabetes classes and support group meetings are held in the UM Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, which is located in the Outpatient Center of UM Shore Medical Center at Easton.

For more information, call 410-822-1000, ext. 5757.