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A 37-year-old member asked:

what are the effects of gestational diabetes on pregnancy?

7 doctor answers24 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Kramer
Gynecology 36 years experience
Baby's Health : This causes high blood sugar which gets across the placenta to the baby. The baby then makes more insulin, which causes them to grow fatter and have metabolic problems during transition after birth. This can me minimized with adhering to a special diet, exercise, and sometimes with medication to lower blood sugar during pregnancy.
Dr. Maritza Baez
Family Medicine 17 years experience
Many possible: Diabetes can affect the developing baby throughout the pregnancy. In early pregnancy, a mother's diabetes can result in birth defects and an increased rate of miscarriage. Many of the birth defects that occur affect major organs such as the brain and heart. During the 2nd & 3rd trimester, a mother's diabetes can lead to over-nutrition & excess growth of the baby.
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics 50 years experience
Recent research: A recently published study demonstrates the increased incidence of adhd in babies born to diabetic mothers. These children are 14 times more likely to have adhd. This was reported online in the january issue of archives of pediatrics and adolescent medicine. Arch pediatr adoles med january 2, 2012 doi: 10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.784.
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 years experience
Stillbirth : Most internet sites focus on gestational diabetes causing large babies. Although this is true the main reason we diagnose and treat is to prevent stillbirth. The risk of stillbirth is directly related to how well someone controls their blood sugar. Prevention of fetal death is the top priority. Diabetes can also cause large infants, more c sections and increase risk of hemorrhage.
Dr. Pam Yoder
Specializes in Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Detect + protect: Stories told of losing babies or having really large infants due to diabetes typically refer to cases in which women didn't have access to or take advantage of good care. With detection, proper diet/exercise, rx if needed, frequent testing of blood sugar, and ultrasound+studies of fetal well-being when needed, risk of many problems in baby like drop in glucose, jaundice, large size can be reduced.
Dr. Pam Yoder
Dr. Pam Yoder commented
Specializes in Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Provided original answer
Also see my guides: How should I manage my diabetes in pregnancy? and Type 1, Type 2, Gestational DIABETES
Jan 15, 2012
Dr. Chukwuma Onyeije
Specializes in Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Excellent answer, Dr. Yoder. Nothing to add.
Jan 15, 2012
Dr. Paul Cohen
Dr. Paul Cohen commented
Family Medicine 28 years experience
Right on target!
Jan 17, 2012
Dr. Michael Carson
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Fewer if Controlled: First, patients can decrease the risks by eating correctly, mild exercise, and using meds when recommended. Uncontrolled gestational dm can cause the baby's lungs to be underdeveloped, increase the risk of a large baby/need for c-section, can cause a low blood sugar in the baby after birth, and even an increased risk of the baby dying before birth.
Dr. Maritza Baez
Family Medicine 17 years experience
Many possible: Diabetes can affect the developing baby throughout the pregnancy. In early pregnancy, a mother's diabetes can result in birth defects and an increased rate of miscarriage. Many of the birth defects that occur affect major organs such as the brain and heart. During the 2nd & 3rd trimester, a mother's diabetes can lead to over-nutrition & excess growth of the baby.

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How are pregnant women tested for group b beta strep?

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