Intermountain Healthcare experts say that when moms have diabetes, it can lead to a higher risk of complications during pregnancy or delivery. Risks include high blood pressure or preeclampsia, preterm birth, cesarean delivery or other delivery complications since their babies are more likely to have a larger than normal birthweight.
A mom’s diabetes puts babies at risk too. When moms have diabetes, their babies are at increased risk for preterm birth, birth defects, stillbirths, respiratory distress, jaundice, birth injuries, and low blood sugar. Babies born preterm may need to spend time in a neonatal intensive care unit or may develop diabetes themselves later in life.
If moms see their doctor or midwife early — ideally before becoming pregnant – their provider can help ensure their diabetes is well-managed before they become pregnant.
And if moms start their prenatal visits early in their pregnancy and keep all their prenatal appointments, they can increase their chance of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby and reduce the risk of complications.
Women with diabetes can benefit from seeing a maternal fetal medicine specialist (an obstetrician who is trained to manage high-risk pregnancies) for some or all of their prenatal visits.
Some women who have never had diabetes before may develop diabetes during pregnancy or what’s called gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes has no symptoms but has similar risks. Doctors or midwives generally recommend a glucose screening test for all pregnant patients between 24-28 weeks. Women who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,700 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in clinical quality improvement and in efficient healthcare delivery. For more information about Intermountain, visit intermountainhealthcare.org. For helpful advice for expectant moms and new parents, see Intermountain Moms online or follow us on www.facebook.com/intermountainmoms, www.instagram.com/intermountainmoms, or https://twitter.com/IntermtnMoms.
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