Florida Hospital Waterman, in partnership with Central Healthy Start Coalition and the Lake County Health Department, has established a new program helping expecting mothers address complications associated with gestational diabetes. The Lake County Gestational Diabetes Clinic is the first and only comprehensive program in the county designed to help women understand their diagnosis and lower risks to themselves and their baby during pregnancy.
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that occurs for the first time when a woman is pregnant. According to the Florida Department of Health, this type of diabetes is caused by a change in the way a woman’s body responds to the hormone insulin during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can increase complications with pregnancy and childbirth including increased chances of delivering a baby weighing more than nine pounds, an increased need for a cesarean section, an increased risk to mother of hypertension and preeclampsia, and an increased risk of the mother developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
“The presence of gestational diabetes in Lake County has been growing every year since 2002, and currently affects more than 12% of the pregnant community, which is higher than the state average,” said Debbie Dudley RN CDE BS, Florida Hospital Waterman Certified Diabetes Educator. “Education is the most important tool we can utilize to help our community address this disease. With proper nutrition, exercise, medication and monitoring, patients can maintain optimal wellness and achieve a higher quality of pregnancy despite this disease.”
Gestational diabetes can be detected early and occurs in about 10-12% of pregnancies. Complications both for the mom and the baby can be managed by controlling the mother’s blood glucose for the remainder of her pregnancy. Education plays an important role in helping diagnosed patients improve their health and avoid potential complications associated with the disease.
The Lake County Gestational Diabetes Clinic at Florida Hospital Waterman is open every Thursday from 7:30-9:30AM. Women referred to the center have an initial in-depth educational visit, and then may follow-up weekly throughout their pregnancy. Testing supplies are provided to all patients free of charge. Clinic visits are free, but do require a physician referral. Florida Hospital Waterman donates the time of their Certified Diabetes Educators as well as the participant workbooks and supplies for this program.
Lake County Gestational Diabetes Program: Florida Hospital Waterman, 1000 Waterman Way, CREATION Health Classroom (take a left after entering the front lobby), Tavares, FL 32778. Clinic days are only Thursday mornings from 7:30 to 9:30 AM. Physician referral is required.
For more information: 352-253-3539.