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Experiences of mothers with gestational diabetes in Ghana

Abstract

Gwendolyn Patience Mensah, Comfort Kafui Affram, Solina Richter, Richard Banful

Aim: The purpose of this study was to describe pregnant women’s experiences of acquiring and living with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM) at a hospital in Accra, Ghana. Background: In the past 20 years, the prevalence of GDM has increased dramatically. The impact of being diagnosed with GDM, such as developing medical complications and associated lifestyle changes, has rarely been investigated in low to middle income countries. Methods: The descriptive phenomenological approach was used. Ten pregnant women diagnosed with GDM were recruited. Semi structured interviews were used to collect data. Findings: The findings indicated that participants had challenges with life style modifications. Managing GDM affected their psychological wellbeing. They feared that they could develop Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; others felt it had spiritual connotations. The participants found the support of family, friends and medical staff to be helpful. We believe that hearing the experiences of participants living with GDM will help medical personnel to render the care and advice needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy outcome. The findings of this research are adding to existing knowledge and form a basis for further research. It potentially can inform policies related to patient education.

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