The incidence of Gestational Diabetes (GDM) is rising. Women experiencing GDM are at significant risk of recurrence in future pregnancies, and the majority will develop Type 2 Diabetes later in life. Continuing effective dietary and activity changes made during pregnancy are therefore critical preventative measures. Many women are motivated during pregnancy; some use technology to monitor dietary intake, and modify their lifestyle significantly. However, multiple barriers have been identified to the continuation of such changes postnatally. Unlike women with Type 1/2 Diabetes, routine pre-conception care is not offered to women following GDM. Little research has explored the inter-pregnancy period.
Previous qualitative research, funded by Diabetes UK and currently being written up for publication, aimed to understand pregnant women's experiences of GDM in their previous pregnancy and its influence on their current pregnancy. Women intended to maintain dietary changes beyond pregnancy, or re-initiate changes in preparation for their next baby, however this rarely occurred. Many would have liked to meet other women with GDM for group support and information sharing, as occurs in some countries. Improved dietary advice was a universal request, and women identified points pre-conception, antenatally and postnatally when interventions could have been made; many with potential for midwifery involvement.
Holistic provision for dietary and lifestyle change is poor and could be developed significantly in NHS maternity care. Working inter-professionally with local Diabetes in Pregnancy services, the project would aim to explore how innovative midwifery care can support the informational and social needs of women before, during and following GDM. This might include models for group antenatal care, utilising the Centering Pregnancy approach, and the use of technological methods, to embed long-term and family-oriented changes in women’s lives, to improve long-term health outcomes and reduce the burden of Type 2 Diabetes on the NHS.
Eligibility and How to Apply:
Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.
For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see https://www.northumbria.ac.uk/research/postgraduate-research-degrees/how-to-apply/
Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF20/…) will not be considered.
Deadline for applications: Friday 24 January 2020
Start Date: 1 October 2020
Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.
Gianfrancesco C, Darwin Z, McGowan L, Smith DM, Haddrill R, Michelle Carter M, Scott EM, Alwan NA, Morris MA, Albar SA and Cade JE (2018). Exploring the Feasibility of Use of An Online Dietary Assessment Tool (myfood24) in Women with Gestational Diabetes. Nutrients 10(9), 1147.
McParlin, C, Hodson, K, Barnes, A, Taylor, R, Robson, SC, Araujo-Soares, V. (2019) Views, experience and adherence among pregnant women with gestational diabetes participating in a weight loss study (WELLBABE)
Diabetic Medicine, 36(2):195-202. doi: 10.1111/dme.13788.