The experience of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) among Hispanic women in a U.S. border region
Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare
© 2016 Elsevier B.V. Aim The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of Hispanic women of Mexican origin with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). Background GDM is associated with poorer maternal and infant outcomes. Rates of GDM occur at higher rates among Hispanic women of Mexican origin compared to non-Hispanic White women. High rates of GDM in this population pose a major health problem which is exacerbated by disadvantage, obesity and high birth-rates. Method Eighteen interviews were conducted with pregnant women using an interpretative phenomenological analysis approach. Findings Our findings included 5 themes located along a path of gradual adjustment to GDM: (1) distress and fear; (2) realizing the changes required; (3) learning to manage GDM; (4) finding motivation; and (5) compliance despite limited understanding. Conclusion Participants were highly motivated to act in the infant's best interest and the majority of women in the study made the necessary dietary and exercise changes to successfully manage their GDM. Nonetheless, it seems likely that additional low literacy information on food values may be beneficial.