Gestational Diabetes and the Impact of Race, Societal, and Lifestyle Factors on Black Maternal Health Disparities

Gestational diabetes (GDM) is a common medical problem during pregnancy and we’re seeing a significant increase in GDM cases, especially in people of color. Approximately 33% of people with a history of GDM will develop type 2 diabetes within five years of delivery, for people of color, this risk rises to nearly 50%.


In this webinar, panelists discuss the disparities disproportionately affecting Black birthing individuals and provide solutions to address risks and disparities associated with GDM.


Learning Objectives:

  • Identify and describe the historical and contextual factors that contribute to persistent maternal health disparities in the U.S. 

  • Compare the Black maternal health crisis with the rise of GDM

  • Review diagnosis and etiology of GDM in pregnancy and how GDM impacts pregnancy, birth, and postpartum

  • Recognize the importance of developing and implementing solutions to address systemic and lifestyle factors that affect Black women with GDM

  • Emphasize the critical importance of focusing on the fourth trimester as an intervention point to reduce risks related to long-term cardiometabolic health



  • One free continuing education credit (CME, ABIM-MOC, ACEP, ANCC, CDR, COP).

Target Audience:
This activity is intended for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives, doulas, registered dietitians, community health workers and other diabetes educators. 


“What is most stark to me is that 80% of pregnancies related deaths…are preventable. The majority of birthing people dying in this country can actually be saved if we had a health care system that was equitable and prioritized all birthing people at the same level.”
- Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha

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Headshot of Mary de Groot
Headshot of Stephanie L. Fitzpatrick
Headshot of Gabriela Gibson-Lopez

Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha, PhD, MPH, CHES

Dr. Ndidiamaka Amutah-Onukagha is the Julia A. Okoro Professor of Black Maternal Health in the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Amutah-Onukagha is the Founder and Director of the Center of Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice (CBMHRJ), and of the Maternal Outcomes of Translational Health Equity Research (MOTHER) Lab. In addition, she is the founder of the largest conference on Black maternal health in the United States held annually in April during Black maternal health week. In its 7th year, the conference attracts participants from over 46 states and 10 countries. An active scholar, Dr. Amutah-Onukagha’s research investigates maternal health disparities, infant mortality, reproductive health and social justice, and HIV/AIDS as experienced by Black women. She also serves as the inaugural Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for the university’s Public Health and Professional Degree Programs.

Sue-Ellen Anderson-Haynes, MS, RDN, CDCES, LDN, NASM-CPT

Nationally recognized nutrition and food expert, Sue-Ellen Anderson-Hayes, MS, RDN, CDCES, LDN, NASM-CPT is a mother, wife, co-author, health writer, recipe developer, health speaker, diabetes and fitness expert and holistic plant-based women’s health registered dietitian and founder of 360Girls&Women®, who has been featured in various scholarly and popular media outlets such as PubMed, Harvard Health Publishing, American Diabetes Association, Fox News, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Insider, Good Housekeeping, Huffington Post, Eating Well, and more. 


Erin George, CNM

Erin George is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and has a PhD in Nursing from Boston College Connell School of Nursing. She is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Center for Black Maternal Health and Reproductive Justice and medical abstractor for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee. Erin received her Master’s in Nurse-Midwifery from Yale University School of Nursing and has practiced midwifery in the Boston area for over ten years, working in academic medical center, community hospital, and freestanding birth center settings. Her research and clinical areas of interest include informed decision-making, specifically how people decide where to give birth, effects of birth settings on pregnancy, birth, and postpartum outcomes, and leveraging community-based solutions to address maternal and reproductive health inequities. 


This webinar was developed in partnership with March of Dimes.


This activity is funded by an unrestricted educational grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, a national federation of 33 independent, community-based, and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.


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