Most women who have gestational diabetes deliver healthy babies. However, untreated or uncontrolled blood sugar levels can cause problems for you and your baby.
Complications in your baby can occur as a result of gestational diabetes, including:
· Excess Growth – Extra glucose can cross the placenta, which triggers your baby’s pancreas to make extra insulin. This can cause your baby to grow too large (macrosomia). Very large babies are more likely to require a C-section birth.
· Low Blood Sugar – Sometimes babies of mothers with gestational diabetes develop low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) shortly after birth because their own insulin production is high. Prompt feedings and sometimes an intravenous glucose solution can return the baby’s blood sugar level to normal.
· Type 2 Diabetes Later in Life – Babies of mothers who have gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes later in life.
· Death – Untreated gestational diabetes can result in a baby’s death either before or shortly after birth.
Complications in the mother can also occur as a result of gestational diabetes, including:
· Preeclampsia – This condition is characterized by high blood pressure, excess protein in the urine, and swelling in the legs and feet. Preeclampsia can lead to serious or even life-threatening complications for both mother and baby.
· Subsequent Gestational Diabetes – Once you’ve had gestational diabetes in one pregnancy, you’re more likely to have it again with the next pregnancy. You’re also more likely to develop diabetes — typically type 2 diabetes — as you get older.