The lived experiences of midwifery care for women with diabetes: An integrative review

Melissa Wallace, Virginia Stulz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Midwives provide care to women across the childbearing journey from pre-conception to the post-partum period in various clinical settings. Due to the increasing incidence of diabetic pregnancies, midwives are now in a position to support other health professionals, as part of a team, to reduce the stress and / or demand on the health care services. Objective: This integrative review synthesises original research that explores the experiences and perceptions of midwives in the provision of care for women with diabetes. Design: Integrative review. Methods: Whittemore and Knafl's (2005) systematic approach was used to search for primary literature related to the research question. Studies meeting the following criteria were included: primary qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research studies published in peer reviewed journals between January 2009 to October 2019. The population of interest being midwives or nurse-midwives and the outcomes of interest included their perceived role in the management of women with diabetes from the pre conceptual to the postpartum period. The methodological quality of the studies was assessed using the appropriate CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Programmes, 2014) criteria for qualitative and quantitative research studies. A robust search strategy was conducted using the following databases: EBCSO host (all data bases), Embase, Scopus, and Science Direct (see Table 1). Findings: A total of 7275 articles were retrieved and ten papers were included in this review (five qualitative and five quantitative) that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Two overarching themes were identified: professional and personal impacts on midwifery practice. The professional impact theme included three sub themes: organisational issues, professional development and holistic support. The personal impact theme also included three themes: limited diabetes knowledge, limited clinical practice skills and mental attitude. Conclusions and implications for practice: The findings indicate that midwives need opportunities to learn and develop skills specific to their role so that each individual's needs can be met. These opportunities include provision of education at a university level, offering work based training and increasing the number of post registration courses targeted at midwives who are willing to upskill to provide appropriate care to women with diabetes. Courses are required to address the knowledge, attitudes to diabetes, appropriate assessment skills and innovative communication skills for midwives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102795
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


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