Introducing the Gestational Diabetes Management Program

Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that can arise during pregnancy and may lead to complications that affect both mother and baby. According to the CDC, gestational diabetes may affect up to 10% of pregnancies in the US.

During pregnancy, a woman’s blood sugar can rise to unhealthy levels. Noticeable symptoms are rare, so all pregnant women are screened for signs of gestational diabetes by their physician. If you are considered high risk for gestational diabetes, your physician will start screening you earlier in your pregnancy.

Risk factors for gestational diabetes include:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Having polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Having a family history of diabetes
  • Previously delivering a baby weighing over 9 lbs
  • Your race or ancestry. Gestational diabetes disproportionately affects women who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian American.

Without appropriate prenatal care or interventions, gestational diabetes can lead to:

  • Having a very large baby and requiring a C-section
  • High blood pressure for the mother (preeclampsia)
  • Low blood sugar for the baby (hypoglycemia)
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life for the baby

While it’s not possible to prevent gestational diabetes completely, there are many things that can be done to reduce your risk, including diet and exercise. With early detection and the right resources to assist with lifestyle changes, gestational diabetes can be managed, ensuring a safe and healthy pregnancy and an uncomplicated birth.

As part of our mission to provide accessible and quality prenatal care to Connecticut mothers and to ensure safe birth outcomes for all women--especially women of color, Women’s Health Connecticut has introduced a new service: the Gestational Diabetes Management Program. Designed to support expectant moms navigating the challenges of gestational diabetes via convenient telehealth sessions, this resource is available to all Women’s Health Connecticut patients with a provider’s referral.

The program is facilitated by Ruth Ferrarotti, ANP-BC, APRN, CDCES, a nurse practitioner with decades of experience treating and counseling diabetes patients. An initial phone or video chat consultation with Ruth includes education, nutrition advising, and instructions for monitoring sugars. Ruth will prescribe treatments or medication if necessary. Frequent follow-up phone or video chat visits help patients monitor and manage their health throughout their pregnancy.

“Often, a pregnancy complicated by diabetes can be a difficult and frightening experience, but a healthy, successful pregnancy is possible!” says Ruth. “Achieving a positive outcome by providing education, support, and management for women experiencing diabetes in pregnancy is my ultimate goal.”

To take advantage of this program, ask your Women’s Health Connecticut provider for more information on how to get started. While this service is covered by all major healthcare plans, you may be responsible for a co-pay or other out-of-pocket costs depending on your coverage. Please contact your insurance provider for more details.

More About Ruth Ferrarotti, ANP-BC, APRN, CDCES

Ruth has been a Diabetes Educator since 1990. In 1997, she joined the Department of OB/GYN at Hartford Hospital to work with colleagues on the start-up of a diabetes in pregnancy program and continue to provide care at Women's Ambulatory Health Services. In 2000, she became a Nurse Practitioner, further expanding her involvement in the care of women experiencing diabetes during pregnancy.

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gestational-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20355339

https://www.cdc.gov/pregnancy/diabetes-gestational.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/gestational-diabetes