November 27


How Does Gestational Diabetes Affect Babies and Mothers?

By Gabriela

November 27, 2020

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that develops during pregnancy. The body of pregnant women begins storing more glucose to provide the baby with the right amounts.

Also, during pregnancy, certain hormonal changes increase the levels of blood sugar as well as the risk of pregnancy complications.

So, those women whose body is not able to produce the needed amount of insulin to break down the excess sugar in the bloodstream develop gestational diabetes. Even though it can be harmful, this type of diabetes is easily treated if you detect it on time.

What Makes You Prone to Gestational Diabetes

Some factors that increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes during your pregnancy include:

  • Genetics;
  • Age above 25;
  • Patient with PCOS;
  • BMI above 30 or overweight;
  • Had a big baby before;
  • Glucose intolerant.

How Gestational Diabetes Affects the Baby

Babies get nutrients from their mother’s blood, so they can also be affected by her high blood sugar levels. This is not always the case, but they have more chances of developing the following complications:

Low Mineral Levels When They Are Born

Gestational diabetes can cause insufficient levels of magnesium and calcium in the baby, thus increasing the risk of muscle cramps or spasms. You can treat this with supplements, but consult your pediatrician for the right dosage.

Injuries during Delivery Due to Their Larger Size

Gestational diabetes can make your baby store more fat than normal, so s/he can be bigger and larger than other babies. So, this increases the risk of injuries during a standard delivery. That’s why these women usually give birth by a C-section.


Jaundice colors parts of the eye and skin yellowish. But, this condition is not dangerous and can be easily treated.

Temporary Problems with Their Breathing

This type of diabetes can cause breathing and respiratory problems in babies after birth. They will also need oxygen support.

Low Blood Glucose Levels When They Are Born

These babies are used to getting higher levels of sugar in their bloodstream, so they would probably demand more breastfeeding than usual to satisfy their need for sugar.

The other solution is to receive glucose feedings via their arm through plastic tubes. In this way, babies will get glucose directly into their blood.

Higher Risk of Diabetes and Obesity Later in Life

Sometimes, gestational diabetes increases the chances of type 2 diabetes and obesity later in life. So, encourage your kid to lead a healthy lifestyle and diet to prevent this from happening.

How Gestational Diabetes Affects the Mother

The mother has an increased risk of:

  • Pre-term birth;
  • A Cesarean section;
  • Miscarriage;
  • Preeclampsia or high blood pressure.

Do These Babies & Mothers Need Special Care

This type of diabetes doesn’t cause any deformities to the baby. However, since it increases the risk of developing diabetes later in life, you should ensure that your little one follows a healthy diet and lifestyle.

This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed in the later stages of pregnancy without any possible defects.

But, mothers should eat healthy, limit their carbohydrate intake, and do diabetes tests during their pregnancy to ensure they and their baby are safe.

Source News Medical | WebMD


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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