We conducted a focused ethnography with 12 First Nations women who had had diabetes in pregnancy to understand their real-life experiences and find ways to improve care for those with diabetes in pregnancy. We carried out unstructured interviews that were recorded, transcribed, and subject to qualitative content analysis. The experience of diabetes in pregnancy is one wrought with difficulties but balanced to some degree by positive lifestyle changes. Having a strong support system (family, health care, cultural/community, and internal support) and the necessary resources (primarily awareness/education) allows women to take some control of their health. Efforts to improve pregnancy care for First Nations women should take a more patient-centered care approach and strive to enhance the support systems of these women, increase their sense of autonomy, and raise awareness of diabetes in pregnancy and its accompanying challenges.
PMID: 25082157 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]