Derbyshire women who had diabetes during pregnancy offered easier access to free health programme

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People who have had gestational diabetes can now self-refer to the programme without having to undergo a blood test to be able to start the course. This makes it significantly easier for women to start the Healthier You, NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme, and have access to the free nine-month programme tailored to their lifestyle.

Half of all those who have experienced gestational diabetes - high blood sugar levels that develop during pregnancy - go on to develop Type 2 Diabetes, which is why the NHS has now made it much easier for them to access a pathway to avoid developing Type 2 Diabetes.

The programme offers women the chance to join a supportive programme designed specifically for those who have had gestational diabetes. The free to access programme, which is available online or face to face, brings women together to discover more about health and wellbeing for people who have who have experienced gestational diabetes, enabling them to lose weight and lower their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by making little positive changes to the way they eat, exercise, sleep and more.

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According to Diabetes UK, gestational diabetes affects at least 4–5 in 100 women during pregnancy, or 1 in 20 pregnancies in the UK.

Image by stanias from PixabayImage by stanias from Pixabay
Image by stanias from Pixabay

Although for many, gestational diabetes resolves itself after the birth of the baby, half of all women with gestational diabetes go on to develop Type 2 Diabetes. So, now the programme has been made much easier to access.

“This programme, which lasts for nine months, is tailored for women who have experienced gestational diabetes and aims to enhance the health of women and people who have who have experienced gestational diabetes, promote weight loss, empower participants, and decrease the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes,” explains Eliza Carrone, Healthier You’s Service Manager for Derby & Derbyshire.

“Each session focuses on holistic health improvements, covering nutrition, exercise, sleep, and more, with special attention to how hormonal changes like perimenopause and menopause can affect diabetes risk.”

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Additional benefits of the programme include access to an online gym featuring a variety of exercise classes and a 'Healthier You' journal to aid personal reflection and health planning.

On person who is keen to recommend the programme is 48-year-old Mum Lesley Hobbs.

“I have had to have yearly blood tests to check for diabetes, after contracting gestational diabetes whilst pregnant with my second child, which puts me at a higher risk of getting Type 2 Diabetes in the future,” explains Lesley.

“Knowing what my past record was like for unrealistic diets, I knew I needed help. I reached out to the nurse, and she recommended I join the NHS Healthier You programme.

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But, as Lesley is keen to point out, the Healthier You programme is not a diet, it's about changing eating habits for life.

“I knew eating bad foods made me put on weight, but learning about how it affected my body was a game changer,” she continues.

“I was so fortunate to be able to reverse my chances of getting Type 2 Diabetes before it was too late. Now armed with facts, an online gym at my fingertips and support of the group. I have the tools to be able to continue my new healthier path and to continue to succeed. Joining Healthier You was the best decision I made.”

If you have had gestational diabetes, you can join the free Healthier You programme through the Healthier You website here -

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