Women with pre-existing type 1 and type 2 diabetes are around four times more likely to experience baby loss: miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death, or termination of pregnancy for medical reasons. Careful pre-pregnancy preparation can reduce the risk of baby loss. However, uptake of pre-pregnancy care is low. Approximately 50% of women with diabetes do not prepare for pregnancy – even after experiencing baby loss. There is currently a gap in understanding of how postnatal bereavement support should consider the context of diabetes and link it with support for preparation for a subsequent pregnancy.
My PhD research is in collaboration with the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity, ‘Sands’, and supervised by Dr Ruth Bell, Dr Ruth Graham and Professor Judith Rankin. My project aims to explore and better understand: (i) women with diabetes’ experiences of becoming pregnant after baby loss; (ii) healthcare professional perspectives on providing pre-conceptual care to this group. My key project objective is to develop recommendations for good practice to improve provision of support after baby loss and preparation for future pregnancies among women with diabetes.
Systematic Review published in BMJ Open January 2020: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/9/12/e029930.full.pdf.