Pregnant With Diabetes

Pre-Term Labor
Sometimes, out-of-control blood sugar in women who are pregnant with diabetes causes them to make increased amounts of amniotic fluid around the baby, which might lead to pre-term (early) labor.
 
Large Baby
Another problem that a pregnant woman with uncontrolled diabetes may face is that her baby grows too large. Besides causing discomfort to the woman during the last few months of pregnancy, an extra-large baby can lead to problems during delivery for both the mother and the baby.
 

Pregnant With Diabetes Type 1 or Type 2: Problems With the Baby

Women who are pregnant with diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) may experience complications that cause the baby to:
 
  • Have birth defects
  • Miscarry
  • Grow extra large
  • Be born early
  • Have a low birth weight
  • Be stillborn
  • Have a hard delivery.
     
Birth Defects and Miscarriage
A woman who has type 1 or type 2 diabetes that is not well controlled has a higher chance of having a baby with a birth defect than does a woman without diabetes. The organs of the baby form during the first two months of pregnancy, often before a woman knows that she is pregnant.
 
Out-of-control blood sugar can affect those organs while they are being formed and cause serious birth defects, such as those of the brain, spine, and heart, or can lead to miscarriage of the developing baby.
 
Extra-Large Growth
If the woman's blood sugar remains out of control throughout the pregnancy, the baby likely will grow extra large. Diabetes that is not under good control can cause the baby's blood sugar to be high. As a result, the baby makes more insulin and uses the extra calories or stores them as fat. The baby is "overfed" and grows extra large.
 
Extra-large babies may be born to women with any out-of-control diabetes, including type 1, type 2, and gestational. The extra-large baby can cause problems during and after delivery. Nerve damage to the baby can happen from pressure on the baby's shoulder during delivery. A newborn might have quickly changing blood sugars after delivery. A large baby born to a woman with diabetes might have a greater chance of being obese and/or developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
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