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Gestational Diabetes Baby Risks

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that is characterized by insulin resistance that occurs primarily during the second and third trimester of a woman’s pregnancy. It is believed to be caused by the rapid and excessive hormone production that women go through during their pregnancy. It is also thought that pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to deal with rising blood sugar levels which leads to hyperglycemia. Left untreated a gestational diabetes baby is placed at a higher risk.

About 4 percent of all pregnant women will be afflicted with gestational diabetes but it usually goes away after the baby is born. Left untreated this form of diabetes can pose a dangerous risk to both the mother and unborn baby. The biggest risk is caused by excessive sugar that crosses the placenta to the baby. Insulin on the other hand does not cross this barrier.

High blood sugar levels in the mother means the same for the baby. The developing baby’s pancreas compensates for this by producing more insulin to remove the excess sugar from its blood stream. The sugar is stored away as fat which leads to macrosomia, also known as fat baby syndrome.

Babies born with macrosomia can have a whole host of health issues, some of which can be life threatening. Because babies born with this condition tend to be larger then normal they are most often require a cesarean birth. If they are born naturally they can damage their shoulders because they are too large for the birth canal. They can also be born with extremely low blood sugar levels and their respiratory system may not be fully developed, causing breathing problems.

To prevent gestational diabetes baby risks every woman should be tested during the second trimester of their pregnancy. If they are found to be suffering from this condition treatment and control needs to be started quickly. In most cases it can be controlled through gestational diabetes meal planning and exercise but in more extreme cases medical intervention may be necessary including daily insulin injections.

Source by Andrew Bicknell

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