When Kate Berry was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes (GDM) at around 20 weeks, she was initially shocked and blamed herself.
“I was a bundle of worry and tears were flowing, she says, “I felt I had done something to cause the GDM.”Kate lives in Newman, approximately 1,177km from Perth, Western Australia, and had limited access to a Credentialled Diabetes Educator.
However, after being referred to Diabetes WA Telehealth by King Edward Memorial Hospital, she soon began to relax and was able to enjoy her pregnancy, whilst managing her condition.
“The team sent me information, spoke to me weekly making sure I was feeling well” she says, “It was great to have someone to ask if I was doing things correctly and then have them tell me I was doing so well.”
The support she had from Diabetes WA meant that she managed her gestational diabetes with diet, not having to resort to medications like insulin.
“It wasn’t too bad,” the mother of two says, “I actually enjoyed knowing exactly what I couldn’t and could have to eat and drink.”
Diabetes WA’s free Telehealth Service is available to all people living with diabetes that live in regional or remote Western Australia. It allows people living with diabetes to consult with a Credentialled Diabetes Educator or an Endocrinologist, via phone or video conferencing.
The Diabetes WA Telehealth staff come from nursing, pharmacy, exercise physiology and dietetics backgrounds and can give advice on all aspects of diabetes management.
Since 2015, Diabetes WA’s Telehealth Service has supported over 1500 people living with diabetes in Western Australia and saved over 1,500,000 km in travel.
“We are able to offer a timely and comprehensive service to women with GDM in regional WA when and where they need it, if local service is unavailable or infrequent, says Gill Denny, Tele-Services Manager, Diabetes WA.
“We work closely with Marina Mickleson, her team at King Edward Memorial Hospital to provide intensive support to women in regional WA at such a crucial time.”
Kate Berry also loved the convenience of dialling through from her own home. “You could call any time and they would respond in a timely manner” she says.
In 2019, Kate delivered a healthy baby girl, named Erana, and her blood glucose levels have returned to normal.
Her advice for other mothers diagnosed with gestational diabetes is “Stay Calm!” She advises. “Read all the information you are given because knowledge is important.”
“If you understand what GDM is, you’ll find it so much easier to manage and enjoy your pregnancy.”
For more information about Diabetes WA’s Telehealth Service, please call the Diabetes WA Helpline on 1300 001 880.