Birth at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital is a world first

Catriona Finlayson-Wilkins with a body-painted baby bump. PIC: Submitted.

Catriona Finlayson-Wilkins with a body-painted baby bump. PIC: Submitted. - Credit: Archant

A mother from Norfolk with diabetes has become the first woman in the world to give birth naturally after having used cutting edge technology to help her produce insulin throughout her pregnancy.

Catriona Finlayson-Wilkins, who has Type 1 Diabetes, gave birth to baby Euan at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital today having used an artificial pancreas to help her produce insulin during her pregnancy.

Ms Finlayson-Wilkins has become the first woman in the world to give birth naturally with the use of the technology and is also the first mum using the device to give birth outside the main research site at Cambridge University Hospitals.

(three other mothers have previously given birth, but these were via caesarean section).

Dr Helen Murphy, principal investigator of the study which Ms Finlayson-Wilkins participated in, said that the new arrival represented an exciting step forward in the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy.


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'Diabetes is the most common medical condition in pregnancy. Women who have diabetes in pregnancy face higher rates of birth defects, oversized babies, preterm delivery and stillbirth than other pregnant women.

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

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'The artificial pancreas is an exciting new technology that may help us to treat diabetes in pregnancy and create a group of healthier mothers and babies.

'We are pleased to partner with Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital to be able to conduct this exciting research,' she said.

The NIHR's Closed Loop in Pregnancy study, under which this technology is being tested, is ongoing and its results are expected to be published later this year.

If the findings are positive, this may pave the way for this technology to become available for more women with diabetes who conceive in the future.

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