Your healthcare team
When you’re living with gestational diabetes it’s recommended that you have a team of health professionals around you to support you and help you with your diagnosis and what it means for your pregnancy. Depending on whether you have public or private antenatal care, your team may consist of some, or all of the following health professionals.
A general practitioner (GP) will often be the person who diagnosed your gestational diabetes, providing shared care with midwives. They can help you by referring you to the specialist health professionals who can help you with the different aspects of managing gestational diabetes like a diabetes educator, dietitian or exercise physiologist.
A midwife will help you with all aspects of your pregnancy from when you first find out you’re pregnant, to about a month after your baby is born. Your midwife will work closely with your GP and diabetes educator to give advice and support to help you manage your gestational diabetes as well as your pregnancy overall.
An obstetrician provides specialist medical care for women during pregnancy and birth. Your GP or midwife led clinic might refer you to an obstetrician when you’re diagnosed with gestational diabetes or you may choose to see one privately. They will monitor the growth of the baby, and order any special tests or checks you may need. They will help you understand the finer points of your gestational diabetes and how it is affecting your pregnancy.
A diabetes educator will support and guide you through your diagnosis and help you look after your gestational diabetes. They will help you understand how your medications work (if you take them) and what to aim for with your blood glucose levels. They can help you see patterns in your blood glucose levels and support you to make lifestyle changes to help you reach your targets.
An endocrinologist is a specialist in diabetes offering support to people with generally more complex diabetes, or diabetes that’s becoming challenging to manage. An endocrinologist may also become involved when your GP needs more support to help them treat your diabetes.
An exercise physiologist specialises in creating safe and effective exercise plans for people, including women with gestational diabetes. They do individual consultations as well as group sessions. They can help you exercise around any pregnancy symptoms so you can stay active during pregnancy.
A dietitian will help you come up with a tailored eating plan based on your individual needs and the foods you like. They can help you understand how your food choices affect your blood glucose levels and help you choose meals and snacks to help you meet your blood glucose targets.
A pharmacist can help you understand your medications and when to take them, and can identify and manage any side affects you may experience. They can also give advice about complementary medications or supplements and alert you to any possible interactions.
A psychologist looks at the emotional and behavioural parts of gestational diabetes. They will work together with you to make a customised self-care plan to support your emotional health. They understand the stress and negative feelings that sometimes come with a gestational diabetes diagnosis and can work through these feelings with you.
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