World first natural birth for diabetic woman with artificial pancreas

By Efrosini Costa

World first natural birth for diabetic woman with artificial pancreas
A diabetic woman has become the first in the world to give birth using an artificial pancreas.

Catroina Finlayson-Wilkins, a 41-year-old from the UK, gave birth to son Euan at Norfolk University Hospital.

The mother-of-two became the first diabetic woman to give birth after using the artificial pancreas during her pregnancy.

She is the first to use the device outside the main research site in Cambridge and wore the device to produce insulin and prevent symptoms of the disease.

Three other mothers have previously given birth after using the device but their babies were delivered by caesarean section.

The small portable kit called the artificial pancreas device system (APDS) is designed to carry out the function of a healthy pancreas.

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It helps to control blood glucose levels via digital communication technology. The device uses the technology to automate insulin delivery to patients.

Worn on the body during pregnancy, it has a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), a digital controller, as well as an insulin pump.

Dr Helen Murphy, the lead researcher in the study Ms Finlayson-Wilkins took part in, said Euan’s arrival was an exciting step in the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy.

“Women who have diabetes in pregnancy face higher rates of birth defects, over-sized babies, pre-term delivery and stillbirth than other pregnant women,” she told reporters.

“Treating diabetes in pregnancy can be particularly challenging because hormone levels are constantly changing and blood sugars can be difficult to predict.”

Ms Finlayson-Wilkins told the media she was “thrilled” with the safe arrival of her son.

“It’s a huge weight off your mind after being pregnant and diabetic, which is really risky.”

“It’s the most amazing piece of kit and I can really see how it’s going to benefit all types of people with diabetes in the future.”

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