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Diabetes - How it May Affect Your Baby?

Dr. Archana A Prabhu 89% (323 ratings)
MBBS, DGO, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Mumbai  •  23 years experience
Diabetes - How it May Affect Your Baby?

You may develop a form of diabetes during pregnancy, which is known as gestational diabetes. The condition usually goes away after childbirth. During pregnancy, hormonal changes within the body may cause the blood sugar level to rise. This condition affects the developing fetus as well, as the baby receives nutrients from your blood. The baby may store the extra sugar as fat and may grow unusually large.

How gestational diabetes affects the baby

Owing to the abnormally large size, the baby may be at risk of facing several complications, if you have gestational diabetes. Your baby may be affected in the following ways:

1. There may be injuries during birth due to the large size.

2. Low blood sugar level and mineral level during birth.

3. Jaundice, which is a condition which turns the skin to yellow.

4. The baby may be born prematurely.

5. Breathing problems which are temporary.

6. The baby will be at a higher risk of obesity later in life.

How gestational diabetes affects the mother

The chances of several pregnancy complications get enhanced due to gestational diabetes. The possible risks are as follows:

1. Chances of undergoing a C-section

2. Chances of miscarriage

3. High blood pressure.

4. Pre-term birth

5. After giving birth, the mother has high chances of developing type 2 diabetes.

How to manage gestational diabetes?

You can follow several tips and must undergo lifestyle changes for keeping your diabetes in control. These include the following:

1. You should have a healthy diet with reduced amount of carbohydrates as they cause the sugar level to increase. You must abstain from high sugar food items.

2. Regular physical exercise is essential for the management of sugar levels. You should work out for at least 30 minutes every day.

3. Regular health check-ups are very important, especially for your baby after birth. These may include ultrasounds and nonstress tests.

4. Prescribed medication such as insulin and several others help in the management of blood sugar levels.

5. You must observe your blood sugar level properly. You should take a blood sugar test many times a day.

6. You should always watch your symptoms for any sign of blood sugar during pregnancy.

In case you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you must consult a doctor immediately. Managing this condition at an early stage will prevent your baby from being affected in several ways. The condition can be successfully managed and majority of women with gestational diabetes have regular vaginal births and produce healthy babies. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

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