Factors influencing lifestyle behaviours during and after a gestational diabetes mellitus pregnancy
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Tierney, Marie; O'Dea, Angela; Danyliv, Andriy; Noctor, Eoin; McGuire, Brian; Glynn, Liam; Al-Imari, Huda; Dunne, Fidelma (2015). Factors influencing lifestyle behaviours during and after a gestational diabetes mellitus pregnancy. Health Psychology and Behavioral Medicine 3 (1), 204-216
Objective: This qualitative study examined the healthy lifestyle behaviours undertaken during and after a pregnancy complicated by gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and the factors that influenced the likelihood of undertaking of such behaviours. Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with women who had a pregnancy complicated by GDM in the previous 3-7 years. Interviews were analysed using a theoretical thematic analysis approach. Results: Thirteen women provided interviews as part of this study. Women typically engaged in healthy behaviours in terms of diet, physical activity and glucose monitoring during their GDM pregnancy, but generally these behaviours were not maintained postpartum. Women appear not to be intrinsically motivated to engage in healthy lifestyle behaviours, but rather require the support of an extrinsic motivator such as their unborn child or the support of healthcare professionals. A gap exists between women's knowledge of their increased longterm diabetes risk and the behaviours which they undertake to reduce this risk in the postpartum period. Conclusion: Women with previous GDM need increased support in the postpartum period to assist them to develop self-management and prioritisation skills to take control of their increased type 2 diabetes mellitus risk.