Participate in the dame trial

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Studying diabetes & antenatal milk expressing



Why are we conducting the DAME study?

We understand that you have diabetes in pregnancy. As a result of this, your baby is more likely than other babies to have a low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) after birth. Breastfeeding is the food of choice for all babies, but babies of women with diabetes in pregnancy are more likely than other babies to be given formula while they are in hospital. This is because they have that increased chance of low blood sugar.

This has led to some hospitals or maternity care providers advising women with diabetes in pregnancy to express some of their own breast milk (colostrum) late in pregnancy so that they can give it to their baby after the birth if needed.

There may be some benefits for a baby to have only their own mother's milk but we are not sure if expressing during pregnancy might also affect mothers and babies in other ways. We are doing this study to find out if expressing breast milk before birth is good for mothers and good for babies.


What will it mean to be in the study?

If you are interested and agree to participate in the study, you will be allocated randomly (by chance) to either expressing breast milk during late pregnancy or to have the usual care you would be having if you were not in this study (that is, you will not be asked to express breast milk during pregnancy). About half the women will be in each group.

Women who are allocated to the expressing group will be shown how to express breast milk twice a day from 36 weeks of pregnancy until their baby's birth; the expressed milk can be used to feed their baby if required. The other women will not express breast milk during pregnancy. The reason we have the two groups is so we can compare them. We do not know which is better, that is, to express during pregnancy or not, so having the two groups helps us find out what is best for women and their babies.

Both groups of women will continue to have all their usual appointments and check ups with staff at the hospital or elsewhere. All babies will receive all the usual care for babies of mothers with diabetes regardless of which group their mother is in.

If you go into the study you will be asked to complete a questionnaire over the telephone at about 2 weeks after the birth and again at 12 weeks after the birth.


Who can be in the study?

Women who are pregnant, without significant medical issues, planning to breastfeed and who have diabetes may be eligible for this study.

Approximately 650 women will take part in this study, and this will include women who are booked to have their babies at the Mercy Hospital for Women, the Royal Women's Hospital, Monash Medical Centre, Barwon Health, the Royal Women's at Sandringham, and Frankston Hospital. 

Who is conducting the study?

This study is being conducted by Mother & Child Health Research at La Trobe University, in collaboration with the Mercy Hospital for Women, The Royal Women's Hospital, Monash Medical Centre, Barwon Health, the Royal Women's at Sandringham, and Frankston Hospital. It has been funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.


How do I join the DAME trial?

If you are interested in this study and think you are eligible, you could tell the diabetes educator at your next visit. She will then give your contact details to a DAME research midwife who will contact you to discuss the study further.

Alternatively, you can directly contact the DAME team on (03) 8345 2932 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (03) 8345 2932 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email the DAME trial coordinator at