Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Clarence Schumaker


The purpose of this phenomenological was to understand the lived experiences of mothers who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus and had a child who had been diagnosed with a speech disorder. Despite educational and medical interventions having increased to reduce gestational diabetes, the growing incidence of gestational diabetes signals a disconnect between education, intervention, and prevention. Previous studies have shown that mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus can experience high- risk pregnancies. The long-term effects of the disease on the mother and her newborn child in terms of soaring healthcare cost, loss of work productivity, education, and the emotional health of both mother and child. The multi-theory model was used as the theoretical foundation. The primary research question examined the lived experiences, coping techniques, and perceptions of mothers with gestational diabetes mellitus who had a child diagnosed with a speech disorder. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 mothers with children that was diagnosed with a speech delay (5 Black, 4 Hispanic, and 1 African) who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes mellitus living in Houston, Texas. The data from the interviews were analyzed using NVivio 12 software which yielded four themes (a) the feelings of the participants, (b) lifestyle changes, (c) medical counseling, and (d) understanding the potential risks to the unborn child. Social implications from the findings of this study included the employment of focused and targeted methods to decrease the incidence of the disease and to provide a better understanding of the societal, medical, educational, and emotional lived experiences of mothers and their offspring.