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Pregnant Women With Diabetes

Preterm Birth Problems
If the woman with diabetes has problems that lead to a preterm birth, the baby might have:
  • Breathing problems
  • Heart problems
  • Bleeding into the brain
  • Intestinal problems
  • Vision problems.
Low Birth Weight Problems
Having diabetes during pregnancy might result in a baby born on time with low birth weight. A baby with low birth weight might have problems with:
  • Eating
  • Gaining weight
  • Fighting off infections
  • Staying warm.

Effect of Gestational Diabetes on the Mother

A pregnant woman who does not have diabetes can develop gestational diabetes later in her pregnancy.
A woman with gestational diabetes will need to keep her blood sugar under control by:
  • Watching her blood sugar closely
  • Balancing food intake
  • Exercising
  • Taking insulin shots (if necessary).
If a woman with gestational diabetes does not keep her blood sugar in good control, she could have several problems. Pregnant women with gestational diabetes might:
  • Have an extra-large baby
  • Develop high blood pressure
  • Deliver too early
  • Need to have a cesarean section (an operation to get the baby out of the mother through her abdomen).
The extra-large baby might cause the woman to feel uncomfortable during the last months of pregnancy. Also, it could lead to problems for both the woman and the baby during delivery.
When the baby is delivered surgically by a cesarean section (also known as a C-section), it takes longer for the woman to recover from childbirth. High blood pressure when a woman is pregnant might lead to an early delivery and could cause seizures or a stroke in the woman.
Sometimes, gestational diabetes does not go away after delivery. These women have developed type 2 diabetes. A woman whose diabetes does not go away after delivery will need to manage her diabetes for the rest of her life.
Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes

Pregnancy and Other Medical Conditions

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