Why Is Diabetes Mellitus Dangerous During Pregnancy

With pregnancy being stressful enough, it is very inconvenient to have a condition present itself during the hard work of keeping a child healthy inside the womb. Having any disease or condition during the time period of being pregnant raises great risks to the mother and to the unborn baby as well. Thus, we need to be aware of the possible things that might turn up during pregnancy and be prepared for them in order to reduce the risks present during childbirth.


Diabetes Mellitus is a condition that requires a large amount of maintenance. When this occurs during pregnancy, it is given a more specific name, which is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus. This is given the definition of variable degrees of glucose intolerance with first recognition or onset during pregnancy. Also, infants that are born by mothers who have preexisting diabetes mellitus have a greater risk of experiencing serious injury during birth. There is also three times the chance of having a delivery that is cesarean and four times the likelihood of the infant being accepted to the NICU admission or ‘newborn intensive care unit’. Ninety percent of cases of diabetes mellitus that occur in pregnant women are accounted by Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and the other ten percent is accounted by type two diabetes mellitus.

Diabetes Mellitus raises great dangers during pregnancy, not only to the mother but to the unborn child too, so it is important to talk to your obstetrician. What exactly are these risks that the condition raises when seen during pregnancy?


This medical term literally translates to ‘big body’. So then, fetal macrosomia involves having a baby that is larger than the average size. Babies that are said to be under this category are those that are more than eight pounds thirteen ounces in birth weight.  On the statistical perspective, around nine percent of newborn babies have a weight of more than eight pounds thirteen ounces worldwide. Giving birth to a baby with macrosomia can definitely increase the chances of having a cesarean delivery. This is of course due to the fact that the baby is larger than average, which makes the process of a normal delivery more difficult and life threatening.

Restriction In Growth

Restriction in growth or otherwise termed as ‘Intrauterine Growth Restriction’ is characterized by a condition where the unborn baby has a size that is smaller than the average. This can be seen as the opposite of macrosomia when we talk about the aspect of size. This results from the inability of the baby to grow normally inside the womb of the mother. The baby’s growth is delayed and therefore, normal rates of growth are not being followed by the baby. This situation can lead to many risks during pregnancy, after birth and even during the delivery period.

Growth restriction is often caused by hypertension, a condition that is characterized by a higher than normal blood pressure. Hypertension can usually develop from pregnant women that have diabetes mellitus. On the other hand, growth restriction can also result from a vascular disease that is often found in type 1 diabetics. These individuals who have this type of diabetes mellitus do not have blood pressure that is above normal. This is definitely a big risk factor for complications that happen to babies after they are born. Also, birth weight that is lower than the average is a leading cause of the death of infants in countries such as the United States.

Neurological Problems For The Offspring

Cognitive deficits and mild neurological problems can also arise from the birth of a child by a mother with gestational diabetes mellitus. This includes raised risks of the child having symptoms of ‘Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder’ or popularly known as ADHD. This is a disorder that affects the brain where in there are patterns of marked inattention or/and impulsivity which interferes with the child’s normal development or functioning. The child’s gross and fine motor skills are also going to be affected. These might be impaired when talking about a child that has been born by a gestationally diabetic mother. Additionally, memory performance is also going to be impaired.

We have known that diabetes mellitus poses various amounts of threats to an individual’s life. However, we should also know that a form of diabetes that is seen during pregnancy, increases the risks of life endangerment to not only one individual, but two. It is important for every mother to visit their obstetrician to check if they are at risk.