Our Diabetes and Pregnancy Education and Training Program started in 2001 and is the only program in Maryland that's dedicated strictly to diabetes in pregnancy. The cornerstone of diabetes education is to follow the diet plan that we provide.
In honor of the program, Dotsy Selway, a medical practice associate at Sinai, and I made a quilt that represents healthy choices from the fruit and vegetable food groups, and it won the first prize in the beginner category in the Harford County Fair and the second prize in the Maryland State Fair. We are pictured here with the quilt .
The objective is to have patients understand more about diabetes and, perhaps more importantly, how to adopt a healthier lifestyle that will contribute to better health and outcomes for mother and baby. For example, we include regular monitoring of blood glucose that will help them to achieve optimal glycemic control prior to conception, during pregnancy, and after the baby is born, plus better understanding of food choices and the difference healthy eating will make in their ability to manage their diabetes.
The benefits of the program are primarily the prevention of birth defects, and adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes of pregnancy such as pre-eclampsia, eclampsia, macrosomia, neonatal hypoglycemia and other metabolic derangements. All these preventive efforts have multiple benefits for the patient, the hospital, physician providers and the community at large.
The direct impact manifests in lower length of stay for mothers and their babies: less NICU and ICU admissions, better maternal-infant bonding, less physician time spent with patient education and following blood glucose levels, and a more effective and efficient patient management process.
Many of our referred clinic patients have no health insurance or inadequate coverage, thereby inhibiting and sometimes preventing them the ability to secure necessary medical supplies to help manage their condition during pregnancy. We work hard to help those in need of financial assistance.
To learn more about the Diabetes and Pregnancy Program, call 410-601-WELL (9355).