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Pregnant Women With Diabetes

Effect of Gestational Diabetes on the Baby

A woman who has gestational diabetes has less chance of having a baby with a birth defect than does a woman with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Since gestational diabetes develops later in pregnancy, the baby's organs are already formed; however, if a woman's blood sugar is not controlled, she still has a greater chance of having a stillborn baby than a woman who doesn't have diabetes.
 
If the woman's blood sugar remains out of control throughout the pregnancy, the baby likely will grow extra large. Uncontrolled 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.
 
If pregnant women with gestational diabetes have problems that lead to a preterm birth, the baby might have breathing problems, heart problems, bleeding into the brain, intestinal problems, and vision problems.
 
A woman with diabetes might have a baby born on time with low birth weight. A baby with low birth weight might have problems:
 
  • Eating
  • Staying warm
  • Gaining weight
  • Fighting off infections.
     

Will My Baby Have Diabetes?

Babies born to mothers with diabetes do not come into the world with diabetes. However, if the mother's diabetes was not controlled during pregnancy, the baby can very quickly develop low blood sugar after birth and must be watched closely until his or her body adjusts the amount of insulin it makes.
 
Extra-large babies are more likely to become obese and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life. They especially need to develop healthy eating and regular exercise habits as they grow up to reduce the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
 
Healthy Eating for People With Diabetes

Pregnancy and Other Medical Conditions

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