Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes (which develops during pregnancy) or pre-gestational diabetes (prior to pregnancy) may be at an increased risk of developing malformations, abnormal size, jaundice and low blood sugar, says a new study.
“Both gestational diabetes and pre-gestational diabetes in pregnancy are associated with worse neonatal outcomes compared with normal pregnancy,” said Basilio Pintuadi from Niguarda Ca’ Granda Hospital in Milan, Italy.
“Other clinical conditions, primarily represented by hypertensive and thyroid disorders could also complicate pregnancy outcome,” Pintuadi added.
For the study, the team analysed 135,163 pregnancies. Out of these, 1,357 cases complicated by gestational diabetes and 234 by pre-gestational diabetes were selected for an experiment.
Infants born to women with gestational diabetes were 10 times at higher risks of developing neonatal hypoglycaemia — a condition arising out of low blood sugar in the body.
The risk was 36 times more in babies born to pre-gestational diabetic women.
Mothers with gestational diabetes were 1.7 times more at risk of delivering babies abnormally larger in size. Babies born to women with pre-gestational diabetes were 7.9 times more likely to be abnormally larger in size.
While women with gestational diabetes were 1.7 times at risk of delivering babies abnormally smaller in size. Mothers with pre-gestational diabetes were 5.8 times likely to deliver babies abnormally smaller in size.
Babies born to mothers with gestational diabetes were also at 1.7 times risk of developing jaundice, while those born to women with pre-gestational diabetes were at 2.6 times risk of developing the condition.
Mothers with gestational diabetes were at 2.2 times risk of delivering babies with foetal malformations. Infants born to women with pre-gestational diabetes were at 3.5 times risk of having foetal malformations.
Further, babies born to women with gestational diabetes were 1.8 times at risk of having low levels of calcium and magnesium. The risk was 9.2 times in babies born to women with pre-gestational diabetes.
While the chances of caesarean section in women with gestational diabetes was 1.9 times higher, the risk was 8.5 times more in pre-gestational diabetic women.
Children born to pre-gestational diabetic women were also associated with high risk of respiratory distress (2.7 times), the researchers concluded, in the paper published journal DNA Research.