Why diabetes in pregnancy?
Diabetes triggered by pregnancy affects 1 in 7 births — and the vast majority of women affected live in low-and middle-income countries. Women with unmanaged diabetes in pregnancy run a higher risk of having infants with excessive birth weight, or macrosomia, which can lead to complications such as obstructed labor and an increased risk for maternal and newborn death and disabilities. In the long term, unmanaged diabetes in pregnancy will contribute to the rising global burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), as more than half of all women with gestational diabetes (or onset of diabetes only during pregnancy) will develop type 2 diabetes within five years of delivery.
Though evidence begs for intervention, diabetes in pregnancy remains overlooked as a major maternal, newborn, and child health priority. Advocacy that translates evidence into action is an urgent and necessary step towards:
- Improving the health of women and their families through promoting prevention, universal screening, and treatment;
- Tackling the rise of NCDs through improving influencing intergenerational health; and
- Ultimately accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 3: promoting healthy lives and wellbeing for all at all ages by 2030.