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The pregnancy journey for women with type 1 diabetes: a qualitative model from contemplation to motherhood


Edwards, H and Speight, J and Bridgman, H and Skinner, TC, The pregnancy journey for women with type 1 diabetes: a qualitative model from contemplation to motherhood, Practical Diabetes, 33, (6) pp. 194-199. ISSN 2047-2897 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 John Wiley & Sons

DOI: doi:10.1002/pdi.2036


The purpose of this study is to describe and develop a model of the pregnancy journey for women with type 1 diabetes.

We undertook a thematic analysis of written interactions (n = 200; n = 2060 text excerpts) with an online counselling support service from 93 women with type 1 diabetes.

Seven possible discrete phases in the pregnancy journey were revealed: Contemplation, Pregnancy planning, Conception, Pregnancy, Delivery/birth, and Motherhood or Pregnancy loss. Eight common themes were identified, varying in importance across phases. Diabetes-specific distress was most evident during Contemplation and Motherhood. During pregnancy, social identity and peer support were paramount. Negative emotions in Pregnancy, while connected to diabetes, also centred on the unborn baby. In Motherhood, diabetes-specific distress and depressed mood increased. Medicalisation was expected and offered reassurance during Pregnancy; however, some women still worried, with peer support offering the most reassurance.

In conclusion, women with type 1 diabetes potentially experience seven distinct phases of the pregnancy journey, with eight themes varying in significance across phases. Contemplation begins well before Planning or Conception, and women may seek support from non-mainstream sources. Mental health and emotional well-being varies qualitatively and quantitatively across phases (focusing on pregnancy-related distress, diabetes-specific distress and general maternal well-being), indicating a need for targeted assessment and support across the pregnancy journey.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:type 1 diabetes, pregnancy, pre-pregnancy, motherhood, qualitative study
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health counselling
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bridgman, H (Dr Heather Bridgman)
ID Code:110145
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2016-07-15
Last Modified:2017-11-02

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