Thousands of pregnant women needed
If you are pregnant and live in Auckland, you are well sought after.
The hunt is on for 9000 pregnant women to sign up to a gestational diabetes study run by researchers at the Liggins Institute, based at Auckland University.
The study focuses on gestational diabetes mellitus - high blood sugar that starts in pregnancy and can cause problems for both mothers and babies.
Babies born to mothers with the disease may be larger than normal and suffer birth injuries, breathing problems, jaundice and low blood sugar.
About one in 12 pregnant women in New Zealand are diagnosed with gestational diabetes and the incidence is rising.
Most participants fill in a questionnaire when they join the study, towards the end of pregnancy, and after the birth. Women need to be between 24 and 32 weeks pregnant to participate.
Study lead Professor Caroline Crowther, from the Liggins Institute, said the study would compare New Zealand’s diabetes testing measures.
‘‘If blood tests show a pregnant woman’s blood sugar level is above a certain threshold, she is diagnosed with gestational dia- betes mellitus. New Zealand uses one blood glucose threshold, but there have been calls internationally to use a lower one that some countries now use,’’ Crowther said.
She said the comparison would help scientists to reduce problems faced by mothers and their babies.
Papatoetoe mum Amrita Naidu was encouraged to join the study by her midwife.
She was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and was given guidance about diet and exercise changes to manage the condition.
‘‘I was thinking it would be horrible and that I couldn’t eat anything, or what I used to eat,’’ she said.
‘‘But a dietician helped me and I learned that it is about controlling what you eat and what quantities you eat and at what time. It wasn’t that difficult a tran- sition.’’
Naidu gave birth to a healthy boy, Aarav, in August.
Women who are pregnant, have not had gestational diabetes before and plan to have their baby at Auckland City Hospital, Birthcare, Middlemore Hospital or Counties Manukau Birthing Units are eligible for the study. Go to liggins.auckland.ac.nz for more information and to register.