What are the problems that can happen to my baby if I have gestational diabetes?

How dangerous can my gestational diabetes affect my child?
If you have gestational diabetes, your baby is at risk of certain complications. High blood sugar can cause the excess sugar to pass into the child's bloodstream. It can also lead to low blood sugar levels in the child. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels of the mother can also lead to adverse effects on the heart functions of the child.

Most women with gestational diabetes deliver normal babies. However, if you have high levels of blood sugar, you have to manage it properly. If you do not control the gestational diabetes, it can cause problems for both the mother as well as the baby.

How does gestational diabetes affect the baby?

Gestational diabetes can cause serious problems if it remains untreated. If your blood sugar levels remain elevated during pregnancy, too much glucose ends up in the baby’s blood. In order to process the extra sugar in the blood, the pancreas of the baby needs to produce more insulin. Too much blood sugar and insulin can make the baby put on excess weight. Thus, gestational diabetes can lead to macrosomia, a condition in which the baby grows very large.

If you have high blood sugar levels during pregnancy and labour, it can also cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels) in the baby after delivery. It is a situation in which the baby develops low sugar levels. This is because the body of the baby produces an excess amount of insulin in response to the mother’s excess glucose levels.

If gestational diabetes goes untreated, the heart function of the baby could be affected as well, and the baby can also have breathing problems.

Lastly, babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes can develop type 2 diabetes later in life and are also at risk of obesity later. 

How to manage gestational diabetes to prevent any complications for the baby?

The following recommendations must be followed in order to prevent any complications for the foetus:

  • Nutritional management shall include meal planning, avoiding food with a high glycemic index, weight control, carbohydrate counting, losing weight if obese, diet education, and nutritional counselling. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight and BMI.
  • Regularly measure your blood glucose level.
  • Get your dosage and time of injections according to your meals, activity, and bedtime based on your individualized medication regimen. 
  • Do not miss your scheduled doctor appointments.

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Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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