What does gestational diabetes mean for the mother and the baby?

Updated at: Jan 15, 2013
What does gestational diabetes mean for the mother and the baby?

Gestational diabetes potentially can affect a pregnant mother and her baby adversely if it is left untreated and unmanaged. There are several negative health implications for the baby in particular if blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled through

Dr Poonam Sachdev
DiabetesWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: May 12, 2011

Most women who have gestational diabetes do not develop any complications and deliver healthy babies. However if the blood sugar levels are not well controlled gestational diabetes can affect both the mother and the fetus. Possible complications in the baby: Excess growth of the baby can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). This increases their risk of birth injuries or a C-section birth.

  • Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia after birth in the newborn period
  • Respiratory distress syndrome or difficulty in breathing
  • Jaundice or yellowish discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life
  • Developmental problems such as delayed motor skill development (walking, jumping, balance and coordination).
  • Increased risk of attention problems or hyperactivity disorders Possible complications in the mother
  • Preeclampsia: A condition in which the blood pressure increases and excess protein is present in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Gestational in next pregnancy or diabetes in future
  • Complications in labor and delivery
  • Increased incidence of C-section birth.


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