Diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes? Don’t worry mama, there’s HOPE for you and your baby thanks to a new landmark program from Thomson Medical Centre.
In Singapore, 1 in 4 pregnant women are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, usually during the second or third trimester of pregnancy. This happens because hormonal changes can impair the action of insulin on cells, contributing to high blood glucose levels that are then passed on to the baby.
Women who are older than 35, have parents or siblings who have diabetes, or who are overweight before pregnancy are at the greatest risk of Gestational Diabetes. However, because Gestational Diabetes is a common condition in Singapore, it is recommended that all pregnant women be screened for Gestational Diabetes at 24-28 weeks gestation, unless they have pre-existing Diabetes.
An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is used to screen for Gestational Diabetes — this involves a night of fasting, followed by a fasting blood sample taken the next morning. A 75-gram sugary drink is then consumed, after which repeat blood tests are conducted at one- and two-hour intervals.
While most women with this condition deliver healthy babies, the additional sugar and insulin can cause a baby to gain too much weight, which can lead to problems during childbirth and put the baby at risk for diabetes and obesity later on in its own life. It can also increase the risk of pregnancy-related complications for the mama.
How can I treat gestational diabetes?
The good news is if gestational diabetes is detected, there are skills and strategies around nutrition and lifestyle management that can help you keep it under control, mama. Thomson Medical Centre, which recently rolled out the the Holistic Personalized (HOPE) Program for Gestational Diabetes, is the first private hospital in Singapore to have an in-house Obstetrics Unit, with a dedicated program tackling Gestational Diabetes.
The HOPE Program can help you better understand and manage Gestational Diabetes holistically, setting you and your baby on a path of a healthier pregnancy with a reduced risk of complications.
The First-of-Its-Kind HOPE Program for Gestational Diabetes
The HOPE Program is run in partnership with NOVI Health to support mamas with Gestational Diabetes through an experienced team of diabetes nurse educators, dieticians and medical specialists, who cover crucial areas like nutrition, lifestyle management, and blood glucose monitoring.
The HOPE Program also includes a full-day session at Thomson Medical Centre, where mamas will receive a 1-to-1 lifestyle assessment with a dietitian. They’ll also learn important and practical skills like nutritional requirements during pregnancy, dietary management, food portioning, exercise, and proper glucose monitoring techniques, all of which can be easily implemented at home to ensure the wellness of mother and baby.
Following the full-day session mamas, will receive two weeks of personalized digital health coaching and feedback from a dietician through innovative app technology. This app will allow patients to easily track and monitor their lifestyle and glucose levels, as well as communicate easily with their dietician.
At the end of the two weeks they’ll get an in-depth, personalized action plan that can complement their OBGYN in providing integrated, holistic care going forward in the pregnancy.
How much does it cost?
The HOPE Program is priced at $380 (excluding GST). You can even apply up to $450 of Medisave payments toward the program if you attend the full 8-hour session.
What if my condition requires more in-depth care?
In some cases, medical nutrition therapy alone may not be sufficient to keep glucose levels under good control. Some mamas may also have other conditions that increase the complexity of their needs. In these situations, further support from a specialist doctor may be needed. The HOPE Program has a senior consultant endocrinologist on the team who can manage your Diabetes and/or work with other doctors as needed. For mamas who require further support, there’s even an option to sign up for NOVI’s HOPE Plus Program, a 6-month structured program that combines medical care with nutritional and lifestyle guidance, and continues throughout the rest of the pregnancy and post-partum period.
Sign me up!
You can find out more about the HOPE Program here. If you would like to sign up for the HOPE Program, contact your OBGYN clinic for a referral, or you can make an appointment directly with Thomson Medical Centre. Gestational Diabetes is not something any mama envisions in her perfect pregnancy, but with the proper care and support, you can manage it, mama!