Why do we need this research?
Developing diabetes during pregnancy, also known as gestational diabetes, can lead to health problems for both mother and baby. We know that getting more exercise can help mothers to control their diabetes, helping to reduce the risks to their baby, and improve their long-term health.
However, pregnant mothers can find it difficult to stay physically active during pregnancy, because of tiredness, isolation, or a lack of motivation. We need to find better ways to help mothers with diabetes stay active during pregnancy which take these barriers into account.
What’s happening in this project?
A smartphone app called GDm‑Health is being used across the NHS to help mothers with gestational diabetes to monitor their glucose levels during pregnancy. Researchers funded by Tommy’s want to understand whether this app could also be useful to help mothers stay physically active during pregnancy too.
To do this, our researchers will test an updated version of the GDm‑Health app which includes a programme called ‘Stay Active’. The Stay Active programme has been developed with input from women with gestational diabetes. It uses several techniques which are proven to help people change their behaviour, such as setting goals, self-monitoring, and motivational feedback.
In this initial pilot study, our researchers will assess whether women with gestational diabetes find the Stay Active programme useful. This will enable the team at a later date to study whether it helps women increase the amount of exercise they do.
What difference will this project make?
This project will help us find new ways to help women with gestational diabetes to stay physically active during pregnancy. Doing so could help mothers reduce the risks of health problems for themselves and their baby.
Get our research updates
Tommy's funds research across the UK investigating the reasons for pregnancy complications and loss. If you're interested in being kept updated about our research and news from Tommy's, click here.
More research projects
In this Q&A, we sit down and chat with with Tom Willmott, a researcher based at Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre in Manchester. He gives a rare insight into a novel and exciting area of pregnancy health research, known as ‘maternal microbiology’, looking at what we can learn by studying bacteria in the mouths of mums-to-be.
A recently published article, co-authored by Professor Catherine Williamson from Tommy’s Research Centre at King’s College London, suggests that certain pregnancy complications can indicate future health issues for women.
Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.
Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.