In England and Wales, 700,000 women give birth each year with 5% known to have pre-existing diabetes or gestational diabetes.
According to NICE, the quality standards have been published because of the rise in gestational diabetes as a result of higher rates of obesity.
The quality standards aim to improve the rates of fetal anomalies, miscarriages, instrumental births and caesarean sections, maternal diabetic complications and babies who are large for gestational age.
Midwives and other health care professionals are advised to read the quality standards in the context of guidelines on training and competencies.
While staff training and competency are not stated in NICE quality standards, recommendations for areas of development are included as well as advice for families and carers.
The quality standards advise that women with diabetes, and planning a pregnancy, should be prescribed 5mg of folic acid per day from at least 3 months before conception.
It also says pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes should be supported to self-monitor their blood sugar levels.
NICE’s quality standards can be found here.
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