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How dangerous is gestational diabetes?

Over the course of a mother’s pregnancy, it is possible for her to develop gestational diabetes. This affects the way cells use sugar like any other form of diabetes, but it often resolves after the birth of the child.

However, gestational diabetes can still potentially cause harm to the unborn child. It is important to understand how this can happen.

Weight and respiratory problems

Mayo Clinic discusses some of the dangers associated with gestational diabetes. Excessive birth weight poses one concern, which can complicate delivery and cause a cesarean section to become necessary.

Due to respiratory distress syndrome stemming from diabetes, a child may also struggle to breathe upon birth. This can cause potential issues with oxygen levels and their overall health.

High blood sugar

High blood sugar levels can potentially lead to preterm birth, too. In other cases, the weight of the child may necessitate an early removal as well. Preterm births can lead to health complications.

A baby from a mother with gestational diabetes may also develop hypoglycemia. This can cause seizures and other problems but is often treatable with intravenous glucose and prompt feeding.

Health problems in later life

This same baby may also suffer from an increased risk of obesity later in life, though. Obesity can lead to the child suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Finally, in extreme cases, gestational diabetes and its related complications could potentially result in the child dying during the labor process or shortly after birth.

Needless to say, any of these complications could serve as a traumatic incident or even a deadly one, which is why expecting mothers should know as much as possible about gestational diabetes.