Gestational Diabetes and Birth Risks
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Women with gestational diabetes tend to have larger babies. In addition to being bigger overall, they also typically have larger organs, including the liver, heart and adrenal glands. Immediately after birth, they may have periods of low blood sugar and require close monitoring of blood sugar levels over the first 24 hours of life. If the diabetes is not carefully controlled throughout the pregnancy, women experience a higher risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. Other problems associated with gestational diabetes include newborn jaundice, trimmers or shaking immediately after birth, and poor feeding habits.
One concern with a larger infant is that it cannot easily pass through the birth canal. The risk of requiring an operative delivery increases, and this drives up the incidence of birth defects. Even without the use of obstetrical forceps or vacuum extraction, doctors may still cause permanent birth defects as they attempt to rotate the child in the birth canal or use manual force to pull the baby through the canal. Most doctors will test for gestational diabetes during the pregnancy, and they will monitor the situation closely to ensure that the baby is not growing too large or developing other health problems.
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