Risks of Gestational Diabetes

baby arm and stethoscopeIn some situations, no matter if diabetes was present before, pregnant women who have high blood glucose can be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzed the occurrence of gestational diabetes. They found that between 2007 and 2010, gestational diabetes was present in 9.2% of pregnant women. This condition begins as your body fails to make and use the necessary insulin for pregnancy. The blood glucose remains high because there is not enough insulin. This can be cause for numerous risks.

Our Houston birth injury attorneys at Hampton & King understand how gestational diabetes can have an effect on the mother and the baby during pregnancy. It is important to keep the blood glucose levels under control to help prevent the occurrence of gestational diabetes. There are a number of risks involved and you know what the conditions are and how they can affect the baby. You should also understand that if you have gestational diabetes, it does not mean that these conditions will arise.


Babies who have macrosomia — or a larger body than normal — face possible health problems during the birthing process. Because of the size of the baby, it may be more difficult for the mother to give birth in a natural way without the baby sustaining some kind of birth injury. If the baby’s size is not properly monitored, it may cause issues during delivery and an emergency cesarean section may be necessary. Unfortunately, the decision for C-section sometimes comes too early or too late, causing even further issues.


Hypoglycemia is a condition when the baby’s blood sugar is too low and the mother may be required to begin breastfeeding as soon as possible to help provide more glucose for the baby. At times, this may not be possible. This would require the baby to be provided glucose through a plastic tube. This goes into the baby’s arm and distributes the glucose directly into the baby’s blood stream.

Respiratory Distress Syndrome

This can often occur and cause trouble breathing, decreased urine output, unusual breathing movement, bluish skin and mucus membranes, and more. This may require the baby to be placed on a ventilator or the use of some other breathing assistance machine, ensuring the baby is provided with the oxygen they need. This should be monitored carefully, though, because too much oxygen can potentially case issues as well.


If correctly treated, jaundice is not a serious condition. However, it is caused by too much bilirubin, a yellow chemical in hemoglobin that carries the oxygen into the red blood cells. If the baby’s liver is unable to handle blood cells as they begin to break down, the bilirubin can start top build up, giving a yellowish appearance to the baby’s skin.

Low Magnesium and Calcium Levels

Unfortunately, gestational diabetes can cause the baby to have low levels of calcium and magnesium in the blood. It is a condition that can be treated with proper supplements being provided to the baby. However, it may cause the baby’s hands and feet to spasm or his or her muscles to cramp or twitch as a result.

It is important that your doctor pays close attention to your health to determine if you have gestational diabetes. If they do diagnose you with gestational diabetes, they should have a plan of action to monitor the baby and take action if it is necessary. If they don’t take action and your baby is harmed as a result, you may have grounds for a legal claim.

Call Hampton & King today to discuss a potential case with our Houston birth injury lawyers. We are dedicated to protecting families affected by negligent doctors and providing them with the counsel they need to move forward. We are ready to help you too.

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Categories: Birth Injuries