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Pregnant Women With Diabetes

Preterm Labor
Sometimes, out-of-control blood sugar in pregnant women with diabetes causes them to make extra amounts of amniotic fluid around the baby, which might lead to preterm (early) labor.
Large Baby
Another problem common to a pregnant woman with uncontrolled diabetes is that her baby grows too large. Besides causing discomfort to the woman during the last few months of pregnancy, an extra-large baby can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby.

Pregnant Women With Diabetes (Type 1 or Type 2): Problems With the Baby

Pregnant women with type 1 or type 2 diabetes may give birth to babies that:
  • Have birth defects
  • Miscarry
  • Grow extra large
  • Are born early
  • Have a low birth weight
  • Are stillborn
  • Have a hard delivery.
Birth Defects and Miscarriage
A woman who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes has a higher chance of having a baby with a birth defect than does a woman without diabetes. The organs of the baby form during the first two months of pregnancy, often before a woman knows that she is pregnant.
Out-of-control blood sugar can affect those organs while they are being formed and cause serious birth defects, such as those of the:
  • Brain
  • Spine
  • Heart.
Type 1 or type 2 diabetes can also lead to miscarriage of the developing baby.
Extra-Large Baby
If the woman's blood sugar remains out of control throughout the pregnancy, the baby likely will grow extra large. Out-of-control diabetes causes the baby's blood sugar to be high. The baby makes more insulin and uses the extra calories or stores them as fat. The baby is "overfed" and grows extra large.
Extra-large babies can occur in women with any uncontrolled form of diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational. The extra-large baby can cause problems during and after delivery. Nerve damage to the baby can result from pressure on the baby's shoulder during delivery. A newborn might have quickly changing blood sugars after delivery. A large baby born to a woman with diabetes might have a greater chance of being obese and/or developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes

Pregnancy and Other Medical Conditions

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