If you would like to learn about treatments, go to Treating and Monitoring Gestational Diabetes.
Article updated on january 2021.
The possible complications due to gestational diabetes can affect both the mother and baby.
For the baby:
- More congenital anomalies when there’s pre-existing diabetes (before the pregnancy), such as 7% to 10% of cardiac malformations, cardiomyopathy, musculoskeletal and neurological disorders. But in the case of gestational diabetes, there seem to be no risks for congenital anomalies given diabetes frequently emerges near the end of the pregnancy and the baby in advanced development in utero.
- Frequent hypoglycemia in the period after birth
- Respiratory problems at birth
- Risk of 1/3 recurrence at next pregnancy
- In 15% to 30% of cases, macrosomia, meaning a baby that is bigger than average
- More traumatic childbirth given the weight of the baby
- Premature birth
- In utero death (very rare case given monitoring)
Later in life:
For the mother:
- More amniotic fluid (polyhydramnios)
- Risk of high blood pressure and preeclampsia
- Risk of obesity later in life
- In 10% to 60%, more risk of developing diabetes within the next 20 years
The new mother’s glucose will be monitored for 6-12 weeks after childbirth or after they stop breastfeeding. The woman will take the 75 g glucose test (OGTT) again to ensure that her blood parameters are back to normal.
In conclusion, pregnancy diabetes is quite an issue. I hope this article has helped you learn more about it while avoiding becoming overly complicated and medical. If a future mother gets doubtful results or has difficulty doing her glucose tests, they will be monitored by a support team to assist them throughout the pregnancy and after childbirth.
As always, do your best to ensure that everything goes as well as possible for everyone.
The Baby Expert