by Dr. Seema Alavi on July 18, 2011 at 2:02 PM
The internet is a
wonderful medium for getting information and an effective means of
communication. The information collected via internet can help the pregnant
woman in prior preparation and conversations with health experts can be an
important tool affecting her decision-making processes.
Type 1 diabetes poses
several challenges for an expectant mother during pregnancy, childbirth and in
matters of breast feeding. Hence, it is of utmost importance for websites to
carefully consider their requirements and needs both during pregnancy as well
as post pregnancy.
to normal pregnant women, women with type 1 diabetes require more care and
consideration, because pregnancy and associated motherhood is a complex and
This means that there
should be websites to provide all the necessary information and social support
from different types of health professionals.
A web-based survey was
conducted by Carina Sparud-Lundin et al with an explorative and descriptive
design in which 105 mothers with type 1
diabetes, who had delivered between 2007 and 2009, participated. The study was
published in BMC Medical Information and Decision Making 2011.
The study's objective
was to investigate the use of internet and expectations regarding web-based
information and communication in childbearing women with type 1 diabetes. It
aimed at exploring the expectations during as well as post-childbirth.
The collected data was
thoroughly analyzed both with statistics and open answers involving direct
The results of the study revealed that
out of 105 women, 22% never opted for internet for collecting information
related to pregnancy and childbirth, 12% surfed internet everyday, 29% used
internet more than once a week, and 38% used internet more than once a month.
Half the included
women were passive participants on social websites whereas the other half were
active participants. About 45% women, especially those from higher educational
background, had expectations of better web-based support towards motherhood.
Availability of online technical support
devices to manage frequent monitoring of their blood glucose levels during
pregnancy was one of the major demands raised by the pregnant women. Another
important suggestion was to provide emotional and informal support from women
who had faced similar situation in the past.
This was would provide the right platform and impart a sense of belonging
instead of creating a feeling of estrangement.
The study highlighted the fact that a
large proportion of women seek diabetes-related information through internet
before, during and after childbirth.
The study concluded in
enhancing knowledge about the web-based requirements of the pregnant women with
diabetes type 1 in various matters of childbearing and conception. This study
also surfaced the important areas for providing effective web-based social
support to such ladies. Provisions should be made to ensure that the
information given is authentic and reliable.
Internet use, needs, and expectations of
web-based information and communication in childbearing women with type 1
diabetes; Carina et al; BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2011.