"Diabetes Just Tends to Take Over Everything": Experiences of Support and Barriers to Diabetes Management for Pregnancy in Women With Type 1 Diabetes.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Diabetes Spectr


To optimize clinical outcomes, women with type 1 diabetes are advised to consistently achieve blood glucose levels in their target range before becoming pregnant. However, following this recommendation can be clinically and psychologically challenging for patients. We explored women's experiences of pregnancy-related diabetes management and any barriers and support systems affecting their self-management. Fifteen semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a nationwide sample. Interviews focused on women's perceptions of barriers hindering pregnancy-related diabetes management and support systems facilitating their self-management. Audio recordings were analyzed using inductive thematic analysis. Results indicated significant impairment of psychological health and overall quality of life in women with type 1 diabetes who were pregnant or planning pregnancy. Most participants reported a lack of support and empathetic engagement from their health care team, which affected their clinical management. Guilt and concerns about high blood glucose levels, constant pressure to meet glucose targets, and difficult interactions with health care professionals were a few of the primary themes with regard to barriers to optimal management. Patient-centered programs that provide effective clinical and psychosocial support for women who are preparing for pregnancy with preexisting diabetes are urgently needed so that these women feel adequately supported and empowered to undertake pregnancy.

Clinical Institute

Kidney & Diabetes

Clinical Institute

Women & Children


Obstetrics & Gynecology