The rate of diabetes in pregnancy has increased four times among Australian women in the past few years, raising concerns that gestational diabetes may cause problems for babies. In NSW the rate has jumped 400 percent in the last five years.
Diabetes Australia NSW president Neville Howard said it was a dangerous precedent. "In just five years we have experienced a change so dramatic that record numbers of pregnant mothers in NSW are now being diagnosed with gestational diabetes," Dr Howard said.
He said the problem was compounded by more overweight mothers and more screening at the time of pregnancy. The condition arises when the mother's blood glucose levels shoot up beyond control.
Strict diet may control the disease. The Australasian Diabetes in Pregnancy Society recommends that if diagnosed with gestational diabetes, a woman must have a test every two years.