Written by Dr. Ramya Ananthakrishnan, MD  | 
Medically Reviewed by dr. reeja tharu, M.Phil.,Ph.D on Feb 05, 2020

Effects of Diabetes on the Growing Fetus

The effects of gestational diabetes in the growing fetus can be minimized by proper antenatal care and care during delivery of the baby. Some of the effects of diabetes on the fetus are

a.  Congenital malformations

Congenital malformations including heart defects and   defects of the respiratory system, which gives rise to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). These occurs more in babies born to diabetic mothers.

b.  Intrauterine death

Intrauterine deaths  are more  common  in the diabetic mother as compared to non-diabetic women. 

c.   Fetal macrosomia

In this condition, the baby is considerably larger than normal. When the blood sugar levels are high because of insulin resistance in the pregnant woman, the extra blood glucose goes through the placenta into the fetus.  This results in high blood glucose levels in the growing baby which in turn stimulates the baby’s pancreas to increase production of insulin. As a result, the baby receives more energy, which is then stored as fat. This results in a large- sized baby with increased muscle mass, increased subcutaneous fat deposition and increased size of the organs  (visceromegaly)

d.   Hypoglycemia

The baby, after it is born, may have hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. This is because the baby’s pancreas has been stimulated to produce more insulin. This over production of insulin may continue for some more time even after delivery. When this happens,  the blood sugar levels in the baby is carefully monitored and feeding adjusted accordingly.

e.   Jaundice 

 An increased production of bilirubin,  that causes jaundice or   yellowing of the skin and the mucous membranes, is  very common in babies born to diabetic mothers.

f.   Risk of Type 2 diabetes  

Studies have shown that the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later on in life is more in babies born  to  mothers who had gestational diabetes.

g.   Birth injuries

Birth injuries are more common, as there might be difficulty in delivery of large sized infant.


ved12 Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gestational diabetes is cause when body should be able to use its insulin more effectively. This is condition mostly found in pregnancy. Therefore, always be aware of diabetes in pregnancy.

ved12 Thursday, January 12, 2012

According to my experience Gestational diabetes diet is very helpful to control it.This is very simple way to control diabetes.

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