What Happens To Baby?

An Overview of Diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to properly utilize sugars and starches (carbohydrates) that it receives in food by converting them to energy. The pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to do the job and the result is diabetes. This disease is often found in women of childbearing age and may appear as gestational diabetes in some women. That means that they contract the condition but it is only in their bodies for the duration of the pregnancy. Once the baby is born, often gestational diabetes disappears. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes require insulin regimens and proper diet and exercise to control.

Will My Baby Have Diabetes If I Have The Disease?

Babies born to mothers with diabetes do not arrive into this world with the condition. However, if the mother did not control the diabetes before and during her pregnancy, the baby very likely will develop low blood sugar and will have to be monitored very closely after birth to ensure his or her body is making insulin adjustments properly.

One of the frequent effects on babies born to diabetic mothers is their large size at birth. These babies are more likely to become obese and eventually develop Type 2 diabetes later in life. It is imperative they develop excellent lifestyle habits of good diet and exercise to lessen the chance of this occurrence.

The Effects Of Diabetes On Pregnant Women

A woman with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who becomes pregnant not only experiences all of the same symptoms as a woman without the condition, her blood sugar changes very rapidly as well. If she does not take control of the situation immediately, she becomes subject to many of the accompanying problems of diabetes such as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease and blindness. She may experience a seizure or stroke during labor or delivery or have a difficult time birthing her baby due to the baby’s size.

How Diabetes Affects The Unborn Baby

The baby may be too large-a result of too much glucose in the placenta-and have a hard delivery. The baby’s blood sugar will probably be quite high as well. Nerve damage during delivery can happen as a result of pressure on the shoulders of the baby while being pushed through the birth canal. Conversely, the baby may be born prematurely and have a very low birth weight. The baby may have breathing problems, heart problems, bleeding in the brain, intestinal problems and problems with vision. A baby with low birth weight may have difficulties gaining weight, eating, fighting infection and staying warm.

A woman who has Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes that is not controlled well risks having a baby with birth defects. The baby’s organs develop during the first two months of pregnancy and out-of-control blood sugar can affect the formation and development of those organs causing serious birth defects, such as those of the brain, spine, and heart. The chances of miscarriage and stillbirth are increased in mothers with uncontrolled diabetes.

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