Regardless of whether a pregnant woman is diabetic, the higher her blood sugar the more at risk her newborn is for complications, the Associated Press reported last week.
The results of a study of more than 23,000 pregnant women in nine countries, including the U.S. and Canada, found a strong relationship between mothers’ blood sugar levels, big babies and first time C-sections. The results were recently announced at the annual scientific meeting of the American Diabetes Association (ADA).
Big babies (defined as larger than 90 percent of babies in the local population) are at risk of shoulder damage and other birth injuries during normal deliveries. Thus, there is a higher likelihood that a C-section will be performed, bringing with it the possibility of corresponding complications. Additionally, the higher the mother's blood sugar level, the more likely the baby was to have low blood sugar and high insulin levels.
The study indicated that maternal blood sugar levels previously considered acceptable were being rethought. As a result of the findings, more pregnant women may be diagnosed with diabetes and prescribed stricter diets or medication in the future. To learn more, visit the ADA Web site.