Effects of Gestational Diabetes on the Baby
- Macrosomia: Gestational diabetes can lead to the baby growing too large in the womb, a condition known as macrosomia. This occurs because the baby receives too much glucose from the mother, which can result in the production of excess insulin. Macrosomia increases the risk of complications during delivery, such as shoulder dystocia (when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone) and the need for a c-section.
- Low Blood Sugar: Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may also have low blood sugar levels at birth, a condition known as neonatal hypoglycemia. This occurs when the baby’s body produces too much insulin in response to high levels of glucose from the mother. Neonatal hypoglycemia can lead to seizures, brain damage, and other complications.
- Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may also be at an increased risk of developing respiratory distress syndrome, a condition in which the baby’s lungs are not fully developed, and the baby has difficulty breathing.
- Jaundice: Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes may also be at an increased risk of developing jaundice, a condition in which the baby’s skin and eyes appear yellowish due to high levels of bilirubin in the blood.